Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A new set of wheels!

No, we aren't getting a new car (despite the fact that Chris' car is already 17 years old and costs more to fix than it's worth!), but I did want to share about Eleanor and my new hobby, biking! Our birthdays are less than two weeks apart and I thought I would really like a bike for my birthday this year. My neighbor was given one awhile back and I thought it would be really fun to have one, too, so we could eventually do some group rides. Anyway, I kept my ear to the ground and an inexpensive, used bike popped up the week before my birthday so Chris and I went to pick it up after we got back from California. In the meantime I was also looking for a seat or trailer for Eleanor since I'm not really ever able to ride without her. The bike sat unused for those two weeks until my mom brought down a trailer she found on Craig's List up in northern Virginia for Eleanor's birthday! It was perfect! We didn't want to get anything expensive or new since we didn't know how much we would use it, but the timing for both items worked out wonderfully.

Since we got the bike trailer, Eleanor and I have ridden at least once a day on the days I'm off work. I love it! Eleanor seems to like it, but we got her a helmet this past weekend and now she is less than thrilled. We are going to have to ease her into the helmet slowly I think. We went to the expert on biking, Uncle Robert, to get her sized up and while we were there he also fixed up my bike a bit.

There are bike/run/walk trails behind our neighborhood that Eleanor and I have explored a few times walking but now that we are on a bike we can see much more. I am loving it through and through and I can't wait for the 100 degree weather to pass so we don't get so hot when we go. Today we saw two deer, a raccoon, and some squirrels on our ride, so there is never a shortage of things for her to look at. Some of our views:

While we were up at my parents' house for a wedding over Labor Day (more on this soon, too), my mom and I took a couple bike rides on the W&OD trail. Though this trail is less than half a mile from my house and I passed it every day walking to my high school, I had never been this far on it. It was so fun to explore!

I think I am loving it more than Eleanor at the moment, but I think she will love it more and more as she gets older. In the meantime, we are going to keep riding as long as the weather lets us!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Labor Day

One of Chris' best friends from high school was getting married Labor Day weekend up in northern Virginia, so Chris and I headed up to my parents' house to visit and attend. My parents and sister volunteered to watch Eleanor while we went to the wedding so they had a fun little evening together and got Eleanor ready and into bed. From what I understand, Eleanor guided them through her bedtime process by pulling out her pajamas and trying to put them on when she started getting tired, to pushing her books away when she was ready to be done reading and lay down.

We had a really fun time at the wedding. The wedding was at Smokey Glen Farm in Maryland and involved delicious barbecue. It did rain that evening, but it's been so hot that it actually made the evening better. It was a Jewish ceremony complete with the things you would expect, like a chuppah and yarmulkes, to the things you wouldn't, like llamas named Alien, minigolf, and tether ball. We had a great time, as anyone would with the above combination of things. 

The rest of the time at my parents' house, we spent taking bike rides and playing. My parents had collected some "toys" for Eleanor including an old egg carton filled with a few plastic Easter eggs and some old coffee tins that they let Eleanor drum on using wooden spoons. She loved it all. She also had to take a few sink cool-offs after coming in from outside because she would get so overheated in the ridiculously hot weather.

Monday of Labor Day weekend was Auntie Erika's birthday, so we had birthday lunch with Chris' family to celebrate! Since Eleanor had a birthday last month and knows what cake looks like, she can't stand to be around it without eating it. So singing to Auntie Erika and waiting for a piece of her birthday cake was torture for her. Uncle Jonathan took pictures of her across the table, and they were hilarious :)

And of course, Eleanor with her birthday Auntie.

It was a very busy family and friend filled weekend. We had a great time seeing everyone!

Monday, September 8, 2014

August wrap-up

Well, it's well into September now, and while a lot of our August was spent on vacation (the first couple days in California and the second full week in North Carolina), we did do a few things around home and Williamsburg, as well.

We've taken lots of trips down to Colonial Williamsburg to see sheep, horses, get ice cream in our refillable mugs, check out the farmer's market on the weekends, and catch up with friends.

On one such trip downtown, Eleanor got to meet Scruff McGruff. She definitely didn't associate him with being a dog, but it was pretty hilarious to watch all the same.

Eleanor is also much more into reading these days. She has sort of created a book corner for herself in her room. She climbs in between the rocker and her crib and sits there to read her books.

We are enjoying all the outdoors we can, as we know fall is coming and behind that, winter. We spend pretty much all our awake time outside walking, biking (more on this later), or hanging out on the screened in porch. It has been hot this week but milder weather is coming.

Because she is now 1 and walking everywhere, Eleanor always has shoes on. She loves her shoes and always tries to put them on even when we aren't going anywhere. She also loves to carry her shoes (or ours) around the house with her.

We have recently started taking walks without the stroller in the mornings. Eleanor likes to just wander down our street and look at the cats and dogs and neighbors. One such time she grabbed hold of our neighbor's stroller and pushed it into a ditch. Thankfully there were understanding neighbors and no injuries, but now that I know she is capable of that we will be much more careful.

Chris has been continuing to play tennis while the weather is good and Eleanor has more fun watching now that she can roam around and chase balls.

I had Eleanor write thank you notes to her some of the people who gave her birthday gifts. Fairly successful, but we stopped after a couple notes because she wanted to write on everything instead of just the notes.

Me and Eleanor chilling on the couch!

School (at W&M) is back in session and Chris volunteered for move-in day which happened to fall on Eleanor's actual birthday. He helped a friend make kettle corn free for students, families, and volunteers and Eleanor and I went to visit. Another girl there who was about 12 played with Eleanor almost the entire time and let us know that this was her 11th move-in day at which she had volunteered. I love to think that Eleanor might be able to say the same thing years from now, but we won't get ahead of ourselves ;)

Speaking of school being back in session, sports are, too! We went to the field hockey game last week and Eleanor loved running up and down the bleachers and hanging out with friends.

I still have a bit more to catch up on from August, but being behind is totally worth it when you have vacations to blame.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Twelve months (aka a year old!)

This post is coming a bit late because I had to reschedule Eleanor's one year appointment at the doctor and I wanted to include her growth stats, but the pictures were from the week of her birthday. Speaking of her size...Eleanor is 29.25 inches long (50th percentile and 44% of the way to my adult height), weighs twenty pounds, (28th percentile), and her head circumference is 17.75 inches (48th percentile).

This last month with Eleanor has been huge for communication. She began signing actual signs right after she turned 11 months. She now can sign for milk whenever she wants it and sign for more when she wants more of something. She also lets us know whenever she is "all done." She started using her pointing to tell me exactly what she wants - for example, at dinner she will point at one thing on the plate and if I offer her something she wasn't pointing it, she waves her hands to indicate "no." She imitates sounds much better than before. Her first words after "dog" were "good girl," then "bubble," then "hi." I'm starting to distrust that she knows what "dog" means though, as when we were in California and North Carolina, she also called cats "dog" and seagulls "dog." Eleanor also likes to drop things on the floor and then say, "uh oh."

This month has also been big in the mobility arena. She was taking steps at 10 months and basically the day she hit 11 months she began doing a lot more walking. Now that she has been walking for over a month, crawling is a thing of the past. We almost never see her crawling anymore. I wasn't sure what to expect when she started walking because most people told me, "I wouldn't wish an early walker on anyone," or "You'll wish for the days of crawling again once she starts walking," but I love it. She loves it. She's more content now that she can move and communicate and she has more freedom. Yes we have to be more careful, but we don't have any stairs in our house and our floor plan is fairly open so I can generally keep an eye on her no matter what we're doing. It has been a good change for us.

Eleanor also loves dancing, particularly to Sesame Street. She has been dancing for a couple months, but she has just really taken off with her moves this past month. She also seems to be very interested in music and instruments.

She is starting to sort things. With assistance, she will put shape blocks through the appropriate shape holes. We are starting to transition to one nap a day, but she still most frequently takes two. She has six teeth (top four incisors and bottom central incisors) and despite my original thinking that gummy smiles are the best, her smile is still super adorable with teeth. (Side note: she broke her lateral incisors this week, so she actually has eight now, but she didn't have these on her birthday.)

Eleanor at onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineten, and eleven months.