Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Vacation, In Photos

Yes, I'm starting out with a photo of pumped milk. An entire cooler full, that took me two solid months to store up, and Eleanor refused all of it. But at least it was there, just in case, and I was allowed to go on this trip because of it.
So, you'll notice that there are a lot of photos two gals that are just heads on sticks. My Aunt Jen and my sister Michelle couldn't make it on our first annual girls' trip, so we brought them along. Michelle was in on the joke; Aunt Jen was not. It took two days of posting her photo online (FB and Instagram) before she noticed. Hahaha. We should have made one for my cousin, Hannah, too. Next time!
ordering breakfast on the start of the road trip

This next of my favorite stories of the whole trip. We had only been on the road about 15 minutes when we had to stop for road construction. We are sitting here, waiting for the pilot truck to come fetch us, and this guy, please see below...he decided he was hungry. It's about 9 in the morning here. Leaning down holding that stop sign was too much work for him.


He finally gave up. He held his hand out to tell the car in front of us to keep stopping, put the sign down, and rummaged through his cooler to find his sandwich.

Oh yes, he did. 

Satisfied, and just in time, he waves us on, with the sandwich.

Michelle napped in the backseat. Lazy.

Oh look! She found her hubby's BBQ joint!

cool creepy bridge

Aunt Jen needed coffee before she could drive again.

Look closely. That is a donkey crossing sign. Nashville, near Vandy, for a high school. I'm guessing this was their mascot?

The perfect man store. And yes, we actually went in. Just a couple hours after stopping at the Christian bookstore. 


So there's this yard sale. The World's Longest Yard Sale to be exact. It's something I've always wanted to do.  It stretches from Michigan to Alabama, is the first weekend in August every year, and it happened to be on the same weekend that we had to drive on Highway 127! So we made one stop, Mom found something, and now I can say I've done it. Sort of - I'm going back one year to do the whole thing.

State Dock. Lake Cumberland, KY. 

I'm at one end of the boat...see how long it is? That's the hot tub in the center.

This was actually taken on the first day, right when we boarded. We had just loaded the boat in the rain.  It poured that entire morning.
Top Row, L to R: Terri, Mom, Cheryl, Pam, Talia, Debbie
Bottom Row: Brittany, me, Chrissy, Christine

There was a lot of tugging the boat back to shore as my sister Brittany tied off.

Okay, really, this one was more for effect than anything.

We promised Michelle a ride down the water slide. She and Brittany were the only ones to go, because it turned out to be a really rough ride.

our buckets and buckets of stuff. The dock crew assured us they'd seen worse. 

Back on the phones as soon as we got service again. :)

Saw this on our way home and it reminded us of the Griswolds. 

We joked that we should sell all of our geodes that we found during the week...turns out, people actually do. 

Mom found with this antique ironing board, and it rode home with us over the next two days.

loaded in pouring rain, and had to unload in rain as well...20 minutes from home

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Lake Cumberland, KY

I went on a vacation. Without my children. Or my husband. For a week. And while I missed them immensely, the opportunity to sit on a boat on a lake for days on end with no one to interrupt my reading or sunbathing...oh the pure bliss of it all.

I traveled with Mom and sister Brittany to meet Mom's cousins at Lake Cumberland, KY, where we rented a huge houseboat for a few days. We had a full-size kitchen, a grill, a water slide, a hot tub, 6 beds, 2 bathrooms, satellite tv. Amazing. None of my family is from that area; we all hailed in from Michigan, California, Minnesota, Virginia, and Texas, but if you've never been to Lake Cumberland, it's absolutely worth the drive. It's just gorgeous.

Each night we docked somewhere along the lake, and my sister (who is an avid outdoors-woman and rock-climber) was the gal of choice to tie us off along the shore. I sat back and watched and called for another adult beverage. Kidding, only slightly. I'm useless with anything relating to nature. Sweating only happens if I'm laying out.

We swam and read books (I managed to get through four, 4!) and ate a ton and talked and laughed - this was the most fun I've ever had on a vacation, hands-down. I did have to get over my fear of creatures coming to attack me in the water, namely alligators. They say there aren't any gators in that lake, I googled it, but there is always that infamous email that went around about the 23-foot alligator with the deer in it's mouth, and apparently it's shown up in every lake across the south. Riiiigghhht. Still, yikes, I prefer to see what's coming at me. Pools are much safer. We also hunted for geodes, braving the crumbly shale landscape, and I brought back a bunch for Avery to crack open with me.

This was my first time away from Eleanor, and it was an extended time away, plus I was still nursing her. She refused all 160 ounces of milk that I left for her (which took me two months of pumping every night to stock up), boycotted nursing for a full 24 hours after I returned home. I was devastated when she refused me, even though I knew that was a huge possibility. Thankfully she has returned to nursing, four times a day even, and I'm relieved and grateful for this blessing.

So, thank you to Luke and Nana and Papaw for watching the girls for me for this much-needed time of R&R.

Picture post to follow, because everyone loves vacation slideshows, right?

Friday, August 17, 2012

11 Months

Sweet Eleanor, you are 11 months old!

This past month, you:
  • have continued to work hard on your standing and cruising skills, though you seem content to be stuck at this physical milestone. I was convinced you'd be walking by now, but you seem content where you are.
  • were a champion eater. I keep waiting for the day when you decide to be picky, but so far you're doing really well. You didn't like eggs or cheese or banana, but recently you've decided cheese is okay. The biggest difference between you and Avery at this age is that you like meat, and all of it. Doesn't matter what kind we put on your plate, you'll eat it.
  • Are saying Da-da and in the right context.
  • spent a week away from me, refused all of the 160 oz of pumped milk I left with Daddy and Nana, and resumed nursing after a 24 hour boycott. 
  • are showing signs of being a big climber. In the week since turning 11 months, you have mastered climbing onto Avery's bed (which requires the use of a step-stool to get onto). I went to check on you in your room, and you had put yourself up on that big ol' bed! You were happily playing with all of Avery's babies. It's now your favorite place to play, and you'll sit up there for at least 30 minutes at a time. 
  • can crawl up AND down the stairs, and you sometimes hold onto the wall and sidestep all the way down. 
  • woke up between 5 and 6 am to nurse before going back down til 7 or 7:30
  • played well by yourself and with Avery
  • were a bit crankier than usual, probably due to that tooth that popped up at the beginning of the month
Just a few more weeks until we celebrate a full year of you!