Thursday, August 27, 2015

Eleanor's birthday party

Right before we left for the beach, we sent out an invitation for Eleanor's second birthday party and figured we would plan the party later. Well we had 40 guests (including 12 kids!) so we decided to keep it low key by serving brunch and having a giant play date at our house. I have learned over the years that doing "cutesy" or themed things is simply not one of my gifts so we just opened our doors and let things happen as they may. It turned out to be really fantastic weather and a very fun get together for both the adults and the kids.

We had people hanging out in the living room, on the back porch, in the backyard, and even in the front yard (which almost never happens!

Some of the kids hopped in the baby pool, and they did some dancing on the back porch, too.

We even got everyone together to sing "Happy Birthday" to Eleanor, which was no small feat!

Overall we had a great time!

Eleanor opened a couple gifts from family after all the friends left and before she took her nap, including this gorgeous quilt from my grandparents and a new "baby doll" that she is making sure Maynard gets to know very well.

We ended up not doing cake until the following night because Chris had a prior activity planned that evening already. Cake was a quieter affair, and as she can now use a fork, it wasn't quite as eventful as last year! She still had some pretty good facial expressions that almost match Erika's birthday cake experience from last year and those from her first birthday.

Happy 2nd birthday, sweet Eleanor! 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Two years old!

Our "baby" girl turned two this past weekend! I am partially shocked that we have a two year old, and partially not surprised at all because she has grown so much recently that how could she be anything but two already? As far as her stats from the doctor's office go, she is sticking right along her growth curve. She is 32.75 inches tall (30th percentile and 49% of my adult height - if what they say is true about you being 50% of your adult height at your second birthday then Eleanor will be just under 5'6" as an adult). She weighs 25.8 pounds (38th percentile), and her head circumference is 18.6 inches (42nd percentile). She finished her shots at her 18 month appointment so she is all set until she starts Kindergarten in 3 years!

Eleanor has all of her teeth except for her two-year molars. She still naps between 1.5 and 3 hours every afternoon and sleeps about 10.5-11 hours at night. She talks up a storm, often using full sentences, and surprises us everyday with the new words she has learned. Sometimes she doesn't get everything right, but generally she is easily understood. For example, she chose to ride the "alligator" (elevator) at the doctor's office instead of take the stairs this week. She follows directions when she wants to because she is able to understand almost everything we say, and pushes boundaries like only two year olds do. She loves to sing, particularly the ABCs and songs from our church's VBS this year (which she didn't even attend). Maynard (a cabbage patch doll) is still her favorite toy and she loves to read books. Her favorite thing to do while playing is act like a mommy, feeding Maynard milk and food, changing his diaper, putting him down for "nigh-nights," pushing him in his stroller, and sharing her toys with him. While she's known how to close doors for awhile, she is now starting to open them, too. She really is a small person these days!

Eleanor at onetwothreefourfivesixseveneightnineteneleventwelve, fifteen, and eighteen months.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Emerald Isle, part 2

Last year when we went to the beach, Eleanor had just learned to walk and was somewhat frustrated because she couldn't figure out how to do it on the shifting sand. We brought her walker and she walked up and down the beach on the hard sand, which seemed to ease her frustrations. This year, it was the water that seemed to be the likely adversary.

The first couple days at the beach she was very concerned that the water or waves were going to get her bucket (blanket, toy, chair, hat, etc). "No agua! No get my bucket agua! (In tears) Mommy hold it! Hold you!" She would still go in the water, but after a wave or two, she would change her mind and want herself and everyone else out of it. She would run out to the edge of the dry sand and gesture very emphatically and emotionally "Daddy come out! This way!! Get out agua!" After a day or two of that, though, she started changing her mind and would go in with everyone else. By the end of the week, she was swimming out in the deep ocean, jumping over waves with us and laughing, asking to go back in.

We picked up some sand toys for Eleanor at the beginning of the week so she would have something to play with and they were definitely a hit.

We also realized very early on that "go home" meant she was hungry or tired, so we came up with a snack system that seemed to work very well for her. As long as we had goldfish and an "ice cream" packet (blended up fruits and vegetables), she was pretty content down at the beach for 3-4 hours at a time.

She also wanted to try boogie boarding when she saw Chris doing it, but kept crying whenever we would sit her up on the board and we couldn't figure out why. We finally just asked her what was wrong and she said, "Eh-know big girl. Swim!" and laid down on the board on her stomach and was fine. She apparently just didn't want to sit on the board like a baby and wanted to lay down like daddy.

Another afternoon, also after announcing she was a "big girl," she climbed out of her chair and went to sunbathe on the blankets with her aunties, the other big girls. It was very cute.

Eleanor dug holes with Chris in the sand to climb in.

We also took a few family pictures together while we were there.

We had a fantastic week with family and are already looking forward to doing it again whenever that may be! It was hard to say goodbye, so until next time, Emerald Isle!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Emerald Isle, part 1

We spent last week at the beach in North Carolina with Chris' family. It was a wonderful vacation - very relaxing and awesome weather. The highs were only in the mid-80s each day and we had lots of ocean breeze throughout the week. We were able to stop at Wilber's BBQ on the way down on Saturday with the family - a tradition we haven't been able to make since 2010.

Eleanor entertained herself by taking approximately 300 selfies on her aunt's phone once we arrived while we were waiting to get into the house.

We all spent a lot of time outside on the deck, but it especially seemed to be Eleanor's favorite place to hang out. She ate most of her meals out there and played most afternoons outside.

We also had the opportunity to celebrate all the August (and September 1st) birthdays all together while we were at the beach! There are quite a few of us these days!

Chris also had the opportunity to go golfing with his dad, brother, and brother-in-law, which he doesn't often get the chance to do these days. They did happen to go on the one afternoon it rained while we were there, though I think it helped keep them cool.

In the evenings, we played games or hung out on the lower deck area. One night we made s'mores.

The rest of the week was spent down at the water, playing in the ocean and the sand...pictures to come!