Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Eleanor now can play peek a boo. Another trick she learned in Utah. Must be something in the water there. She does it better than this now, but this was her second try. She is with our friend Julie Higginson here.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Adventures in Babyproofing

So remember my post about all the dangers in our living room? Recap: There are a lot. I feel like I made some good headway on the immediate dangers that Eleanor faced. I moved the plant up high, I installed a baby gate (three times) at the base of the stairs, I rearranged a bit of lamp and couch, I tidied up cords and I put a rubber bumper around the edge of the hearth. So far so good. Only Eleanor quickly learned to scale the hearth, making the bumpers only slightly necessary.

What gives with this girl? She's racing ahead of us at every step. Whenever I think we have a cushion of time to prepare for her next big milestone, (like coming on her due date), she decides to mock us and jump on to the one just past it. Are we proud? Heck yeah! Is it annoying? Also yeah! I want her to stay wee and small and be my little baby just a tiny bit longer. She is pretending to be a toddler. I don't like it. Don't get me wrong, she is in her age range, we don't have a super-baby (well, we do...). I think I may just be behind on the parenting. Her three favorite things in a room full of toys, and hundreds of benign items? Clayton's computer cord. It is her Holy Grail. Kleenex and paper. Wont let me wipe her nose, but if I wanted to feed her Kleenex she would eat a full box. And anything small or gross stuck in the carpet, or the carpet itself. Like dead ladybugs and leaves. Seriously. I could use this girl as tweezers. When she can have everything else, how does she know these are the few things she can't have?

Anyway... Here is a video of her climbing the stairs.

Friday, October 23, 2009

One picture-heavy post about our Utah trip

It's been a slow week back here at home in Michigan as Eleanor and mom are both sick. So how about a few more shots from our Utah trip?

Everyone asked how Eleanor did on the plane. Amazing. That's how. She slept very little the night before (nerves) so I expected her to crash the whole flight. Nope. She slept a sum total of 20 minutes, split into two small naps. Luckily my honest-to-goodness, exact prayers were answered, and we were seated next to two grandmas. Hallelujah. They were so sweet. Nells and Helen. They are mother-in-laws (her son married her daughter) that travel together for fun trips. They were headed to Vegas this time. They held E so I could use the bathroom. Eleanor enchanted the entire group of people around us. She would turn her head around and around making sure that each person was in fact looking at her and smiling. If not she would stare at them and wait. She does that with her daddy too.
Upon arrival we were met by the Utah branch of Eleanor's fan club. Grandma Judy, grandpa Tom and cousin Abby. Abby made a very detailed sign to welcome us home. Check it out!
Grandpa Tom was so happy to see his little cutie, but she was more interested in her present, animal crackers.
Once home, Abby and E got right to playing.
The next night we went to see the Firth grandparents. Here is Eleanor getting a lift from grandpa Rex.
Jet lag and excitement threw off her sleep schedule so she got a lot of naps with loved ones.
Like aunt Jenni.
She got to play with most of her cousins. Including Jack.
And lots of time with Allie. Allie had just turned three a few weeks before. This is the same Allie who gives us the marvelous hand-me-downs.
And look! Allie is big enough now to hold Eleanor. Sort of.
It was really nice to spend time with my grandma Marguerite. She has Alzheimer's and doesn't remember us, but she loves babies. She loved to hold Eleanor (when E would let her) and was always concerned about feeding the baby or who was going to put the baby down. She would sit and watch her play for ages with a smile on her face.
Sadly the memory loss means not remembering what babies shouldn't have. Like dairy. Oh well, Eleanor loooved the mashed potatoes.
Eleanor got to meet my friend Robert Higginson for the first time as he has moved back from California recently.
She really liked his shoes.
Learning to crawl on the trip was a real highlight. Sadly we don't provide her with enough pockets. So she has taken to carrying things in her mouth as she travels.
Like bottles of aspirin. For her tiny headaches?
One day we went to Gardner Village to see the witches for Halloween. We went with Allie and friends Sophie, (pictured) Millie and Ririe. Aunt Jenni took some awesome pictures.
Cute cousins together.
Sophie's mom Allison was "sneezing" to get Eleanor to smile. Works like magic.
There are so many moments when I didn't get the camera out, like girl night at the mall with See's or our trip us to Logan or swimming night with Abby etc... And there were so many people we didn't make enough time to play with, sorry to the friends we missed. We had a wonderful time and it went by so fast. We were spoiled rotten by all and appreciate everything everyone did for us.
At the end of two weeks though, we really missed daddy and were happy to head east to Michigan where he was waiting for us. The trip home was another success as Eleanor slept through a good part of the first flight and all of the second, AND we had an empty seat next to us both times. Ahhh, happiness! I like to think that all the flying she experienced in utero prepared her for it. (Technically, she's been to France.)

All in all it was a rockin' good time!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Now With Even More Crawling!

Here are two more clips of E crawling at my parent's house in Utah. The last clip is of her waking up on the couch. She starts chattering when she wakes up, but refuses to open her eyes. It's so funny. She had already been going for a while before I grabbed the camera.

Again, these may not interest the masses, but I know two people who are missing her anew.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

This, I promise, will be random.

I always feel like random should be spelled with an extra 'n' in it. Like randomn. Anyone else get this? I suck at spelling, anyhow...

We are happily back home in Michigan. Back with our sweet Clayton after two lovely weeks in Utah. Two fun weeks, but such a long time away from daddy. Eleanor is an entirely different baby now. She can crawl, pull herself up to things and has one more tooth than she had when we left. (2 total.) She can also play peekaboo and eats more solids. Go E!

All this is lovely, but now I am looking around our apartment and thinking:

"Oh crap."

Sorry for the indelicate language. But do you know how many wires are dangling at her crawling eye level? I can count six in this room alone. Marble fireplace surround ten inches off the ground with baby-denting edges? One. TV receiver and dvd player within pulling-down-on-her-wee-head-reach? Two. Or how about the eighteen framed pictures that I have leaning against a wall as I am in the midst of a decorating blitz? Eighteen. Not enough danger? How about the tool box full of tacks, nails, hammers and drill parts? One. It's out here and open for her. The potted plant full of fertilized soil? One. Very big and just the right height! Tasty leaves to break off into choke-able pieces? A thousand. Sewing machine? Check. Plastic bags full of craft ribbon? Uh huh. And let's not forget the ever-tufting carpet that makes little tasty treats for her to marinate in her mouth like chewing tobacco. Good stuff.

Baby proofing is hard.

Three weeks ago I felt like a hero for buying outlet covers. What a laugh. Ah well. I am off to google who has the best baby gates.

Also- I heard a Ben Gibbard song on the radio the other day that had the line in it: "Rocket fuel is the key, he said." I think it's from his new soundtrack from the Jack Kerouac movie, but I can't find the lyrics to prove it. Does anyone know? I really liked the song.

Also- Barefoot in the Park is on tv right now, and I hate it as much as I did the first time I saw it in high school. I hate the character of Corie. Very much. Jane Fonda is awful in it. Just awful. Sorry if there are any fans out there. And Robert Redford can't pull off whimsical. He can pull off a lot, but not that. I'd change the channel, but I am blogging right now and can't be bothered.

I have more videos to post of E's little accomplishments. Baby brag blog, I know, but seriously. She's our little version of Cirque du Soleil and we can't get enough. For now here is a cute shot of her at Gardner's village. The beret is a bit twee, but deal with it.

Gee, why does the tone of this all sound so aggressive?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Little Bit of Cute for Dad

Saturday, October 10, 2009

What a Difference a Day Makes

Before & After

Eleanor will be seven months old in a few more days. The last week has held a few fun milestones. She has cut her first tooth and she has started to crawl! She went from a drop-scoot maneuver one day which you see in the video taken at the Firth grandparents. Then the next day she started actual crawling which you see in the video with her cousins Grant and Abby. Now she can cruise all over the place and is even trying to pull her self up to the couches and steps. It's amazing and incredibly adorable. We are sooo proud of her, but will have to hurry and baby proof the house. Something I thought we had a little more time on. Eleanor and mom are in Utah right now, so poor dad is missing most of this, but she'll have quite a show for him when we return to Michigan. Because of this I will be posting a lot of video in the next few days to keep dad happy.

Friday, October 02, 2009

The World's Most Edible Baby

A few floor shots of Eleanor. Why? 1- She was wearing another adorable outfit, a hand-me-down from Allie that I love. And 2- Because this is how I spend about 70% of my day. Looking at her sweet face while we play with toys, reads books and pick up carpet lint to eat. I don't condone that last action. Have I mentioned this? I think so. We blessedly have new carpet, but sadly it pills like crazy. The lint gets rolled underfoot and makes these little tufts that Eleanor finds and chews on like Copenhagen. Luckily we've been able to get them out of her mouth each time, and the pilling is getting less and less. But still. She is very sneaky about getting them to her mouth.

She is such a cute little nugget in her cableknit romper.
Do you love my new tights? I bought them a few weeks ago at Target, and have chickened out of wearing them like, well, every day. I adore them, but feel like they might be a touch too Halloween. Today I tried them out as I didn't have to be anywhere judge-y. Like the grocery store or the library. I think E likes them. I might venture wearing them a bit more. It is Frocktober you know. And heavy tights are so heavenly with skirts.

Tonight after two rounds in the crib with no winner, I got E up at midnight. You just reach that point of "Why the heck not?". She was so over tired that she was slap-happy. Laughing at any face we would pull at her. It's hard to be annoyed at her bad sleep habits when she looks at you like this. Or this. Man I love her.
Round three was a winner and she is now blessedly asleep.

We are traveling to Utah on Sunday so she will be off her schedule anyways, right? Any traveling tips for a six month old? I also need to post her 6 month stats, but it will probably happen some time in a few more weeks. Hope to see a lot of our Utah friends while we are in town. Poor Clayton has to stay here.

Post script: The neighbor's "outdoor" voices have just woken Eleanor up. Thanks guys. Here goes round four.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Burning Down the House

So.... I started a little fire. I didn't mean to. Call it Karma, but I am always touting the line that in apartments, condos and duplexes, "You are trusting your neighbors not to burn down your house." Sadly my neighbors can't trust me anymore.

Sunday I was basting a ham and had put some water on to boil for the potatoes. As it started to boil I suddenly I see the paper towels next to the stove catch fire. The towel roll was too close to the gas flame. (Note to self: Where else can we put the paper towels? Seriously!) Anyhow, there were three miracles that day.

Miracle 1- I happened to be right next to the stove. How many times do I leave water to boil while I go do something else? All the time. Don't we all? Put water on, go do laundry or whatever while it heats up.

Miracle 2- I was holding metal tongs to balance the ham as I basted. This enabled me to grab the burning towels without a second thought. By the time I grabbed it the flames were reaching the upper cabinets.

Miracle 3- I had actually done the dishes that day, which left an empty sink to put the now blazing towels into. And we have a sprayer attachment that I handily used to put out the flames.

Had I been upstairs who knows how long till we would have noticed? I shudder to think.

Had I not had the tongs in hand I would've debated using a towel or water first. Seconds matter in kitchen fires. It was startling to see how fast it went from a surprised "oh" to "OH SWEARWORDS!!!" (P.S. I actually say the word "swearwords" instead of other bad words. I find it funny, and in a real emergency it's nice to know my possible last words wont be blush-worthy. )

Had there been a sink full of dishes, I may have panicked or dropped the roll or who knows what. As it was, it was a ridiculously smooth maneuver. I'm not known for being ridiculously smooth.

I believe I owe the miracles to both of our mothers. Their faith surely secured our luck. I complain of my tiny kitchen, but there seemed to be room enough for a few guardian angels in there. Ha ha. Too cheesy? Ok. Totally. Clayton came running to my calls of "FIRE!" to find it all over. Being the sweetest husband ever his first words to me are, "I promise not to sing any Talking Heads to you today."

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