Tuesday, September 13, 2011

St. Ann Carnival - Eleanor's FIRST

This past weekend Eleanor went to her first St. Ann Carnival! We met up with our sweet friends, the Nickells, along with another dear Lindsey/Eleanor pair (the Fuschs) and some other of Brian and Erin's friends from HS.

Eleanor and I split off at first and went to play games. She of course LOVED the ducky game and promptly picked up a winning duck fromt he pool, handed it to the lady, then walked over to the prize table to pick her prize duck (actually this was after she was guided away from pulling EVERY duck out of the pool) of which she chose the princess ducky - I was so proud! :)

After that, she did go fish and was delighted to recieve a BEAUW at the end of her fishing line (a red bear she clutched the rest of the night). We then rode on her first carousel ride. I think she knew she was supposed to like and tried so hard but was kind of whiney the whole ride and had a frown/scared look on her face even though she tried to mutter out a few "whees" as she whined ha! She was torn...I thought the circular movement might have been a bit fast not to mention that the horse was also going up and down!

Andy met up with us shortly thereafter and we went to the petting zoo. Eleanor loved it at first but it was a little crowded and the duck Daddy was holding looked REALLY different from the "dutt tee" in her bathtub - I don't know that she made the connection.

After the petting zoo we went to the super tall slide and Andy and Eleanor went down on the potato sack and she had a blast! Once we finished with rides, we ended the night with a corny dog - Eleanor LOVED the greasy cornbread on the outside. Her vegetarian self still was not impressed with the hot dog ha! Oh dear.

We had a good night. I still think it was a LITTLE too old for her but it was also nice to get out and see friends! We miss you Nickells!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Eleanor's First Day of School

Eleanor has always been taken care of by my mom since I went back to work when she was 3 months old. This year, we decided she needed some little people interaction and mom needed a bit of a break so we found a wonderful little school called "Little Apostles Preschool" at St. Philip Parish in Flower Mound.

I was a bit sad that I was not able to drop her off on her first day but mom said the drop off went seamlessly and that E ran away without turning back...much like I did my first day mother like daughter. Anyway, the school even emailed us a picture of Eleanor playing today and sent home her first school art project - a little drawing she did and her hand traced on a yellow piece of construction paper saying, "I love school." I am now understanding why parents take such pride in the "artwork" their children bring home. It almost brought me to tears and I am seriously ready to mat and frame it. Ok not really but it did go straight to the fridge! Now to Pinterst for ideas on cute ways to post your childrens' artwork...I have a wall in the kitchen that is screaming chalkboard or corkboard...hmmm creative juices start flowing!

Anyway, I am so thankful for this school and will keep updates going! So proud of our sweet grown up girl...she is getting so big! A little shout out to smocked auctions for her adorable apple dress and I couldn't resist the matching patent leather them...surprising but I am becoming very fond of red on a one year old!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's New with the Reinbergs

It has been a while since I have posted about our entire family - usually it is just about Eleanor. So not to spoil the Christmas Card, I wanted to update the bloggers on the family! :)

ANDY is having a blast coaching at his new school. While we both really miss the Renner/Plano West Family, we have embraced a new family at Ranchview. I have gotten to know a few of the wives and really enjoy having partners to sit next to at the games. Andy's team was pretty broken when the entire new coaching staff inherited them so the guys have a lot of work but never before have I met such a positive group of guys! They are doing great things with the boys and so far all I have heard from parent commentary in the stands has been positive. I even met the principal who also raved about the team and change in school spirit. I am so proud of Andy and pray for strength for him - he is pretty tired right now and also overwhelmed teaching 4 new subjects never taught before. He is doing great though! We are excited for a long weekend to just be together as a family!

ELEANOR is such a grown up little girl! I love her mannerisms and really am to the point now where I don't remember life without her! We love having her apart of our family, especially now that she expresses her opinions more than ever! She loves to play with her babies and pat them on the back/change/feed them. she has such great manners - always says please when she wants something and usually says thank you. She also can SAY (not just sign anymore) "I love you." She is having a hard time with the EARLY wake up time, especially considering she would wake up as late as 10am this past summer. When I wake her up around 6am, we have a routine of getting up a little earlier than we need to leave and my new favorite thing is to get her out of her crib, lay bun bun and lion on my chest and she curls up laying her head on my chest and putting her hands underneath her body as we rock in the chair. Her sweet little hands feel on the outside of my tummy like they did when she was inside tickling ready to come out! I LOVE when she snuggles with me and it is a great time for us both to just shut our eyes for a few minutes and wake up. Eleanor is such an amazing joy to us, I don't know what our lives would be like without her. She starts school on Thursday and will be going 5 days/week from 9am - 2pm. I hope she LOVES it!

LINDSAY (I) am LOVING my new school! I FINALLY got into a school in Coppell, Town Center Elementary, and it is literally 5 min. from our home and is without a doubt the most amazing school I have ever encountered! Every day I walk in and think to myself, "How to I deserve to be here?" I can't say enough positive things about it. I am enjoying being a teacher more than ever and am trying to get better about having enough energy to stay on top of chores and make sure we have healthy meals planned for dinner/lunches while also trying to find the best deals for Eleanor's fall wardrobe! I worked Divine Consign in Plano this past weekend and while it wore me out, I really enjoyed it and always love the "hunt" associated with that sale! I feel so much more "in my skin" when it comes to juggling the teacher/mom/wife job than I did last year. I don't know if it was the breastfeeding or postpardum EMOTIONS but when I reflect on last year, I was a mess at juggling everything. Though I by no means have mastered it, I feel so much more confident about the desire I have and hopefully am fulfilling to be the best wife/mother/teacher I can be!

God is so good in the way he has led our family to where we are now. My only desire right now is another little addition but after much discussion and deliberation, feel God is calling us to wait another year :( I sort of hope that isn't the fact and that He will surprise us - that is the beauty of NFP but so far, His desire seems to not be a 4th member of the Reinberg fam. We are at peace with His will and can't wait to see what He has in store for us next!

Eleanor and I continue to enjoy bonding while we miss Daddy at all his football events and love cheering him and his Ranchview Wolves on from the sideline (Eleanor calls every coach on the field dada...they look the same from the stands...and loves to say go wolves!).

We are SOO ready for this hot weather to roll on out and the cool fall to come quick! My personal favorite time of year is upon us...Pumpkin patches, cute costumes, turkey and family time (not to mention Aunt Katie is coming to visit!!!), awaiting patiently the birth of our savior, pictures with Santa and walking through the decorated malls, celebrating His birth (plus the two weeks off school is pretty awesome!)...not to mention three+ reasons to buy an adorable smocked dress!

Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


So Eleanor has been venturing into the world of grown up snacks and pretty much loves anything we give to her. We try to feed her as healthy of food as possible and don't think she hasn't had goldfish or even a tortilla chip once or twice but here are a few of her favorites she has tried and

- green bean chips (baked/freeze dried green beans)
- pumpkin seeds (no I would have never given them to her but I was eating them and she insisted so I let her try and her brand new molars got the job done!)
- dried cranberries
- freeze fried peas

Her school has started giving her lots of animal crackers and vanilla wafers so I really need to start sending better options as I don't want her to become hooked on all that sugar! :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Eleanor is 15 Months Old!

Sweet Eleanor Ann! You are becoming more and more a little girl every day! It is crazy to Mommy and Daddy how much of a sweet little person you are!

You have been talking up a storm and love to repeat anything mommy and daddy. Some of your new words this past month are:
- Aggie, Whoop
- Good Girl (you started saying it on your own when I would commend is so cute, goo gol is how it sounds :) My favorite is when I lay you down in the bath to rinse your hair and always said good girl to keep you from freaking out, now every time I lay you back, you say incessantly till I sit you up "goo gol goo gol" haha! :)

You love to give Mommy and Daddy kisses and hugs. You also love giving high 5's!

Eleanor, here are a few things you have accomplished in this 15th month. You went to the nursery for the first time at church and while mommy and daddy were a little hesitant, you did so wonderfully and we SO enjoyed getting to understand what was being said in mass rather than trying to keep you quiet and happy. It is just too hard for a sweet girl of your age to sit still for an hour, it isn't fair to you! So soon though, we will be so excited to have you back with us learning more about Jesus in the mass!

You have more than 8 teeth now! FINALLY - it seemed like forever that you just had 8! Your molars are coming in and you aren't too happy about it. I wouldn't be either, they are huge and take forever to cut through, poor baby! You still enjoy frozen teething rings and tylenol to help alleviate the pain.

You still LOVE to read. SO often, Mommy or Daddy will leave the room only to come back to you reading to yourself and identifying all the pictures in your books! You are so smart! You are also learning so much from everything you see around you. You love to put your apron on and get to work in your kitchen AND you love to feed your baby her bottle and burp her. You know now WHEN you don't have bun bun and lion and you always ask for them. Used to, you only wanted them when you could see them. Now, you know when they are missing and you want them!

You are back with Marmi and what a different experience it has been for the both of you. You are so much more busy than you were when she started watching you at 3 months! She is loving it but I think you are both excited for you to have variant playtime once you start school soon! Mommy and Daddy REALLY miss seeing you during the day though! It is so hard not getting to see your sweet smiling face as much. Especially for Daddy who will come home so late 2 and 3 nights in a row and not get to see you :( It makes him so sad!

A new thing you have come to love is chips/crackers and dip! You DIE for tortilla chips and guac or salsa and can definitely handle eating chips on your own. You also love to dip carrots in hummus though you just lick the hummus off and dip it back in without eating the carrot!

Your foot grew so much this spring/summer. You started with a 3 and are now in a 5! You are wearing some 12 month clothes still but mostly have transitioned to 18 - 24 month! You are getting so big!

You love to play games with whoever will play - you hide behind the shower curtain while mommy is in the bathroom and whip around to reveal yourself and say "pee pie!" You also love to do patty cake still and can do and say it (in your own way) all by yourself!
- patty cake (say and can do the motions)
- count with mommy, I say one two and you fwee, I say four you say 5 and sometimes 6, I say seven you say eight and nine. You also repeat spanish words
- you know consequences the green beans and you can have pasta and you do it
- first like to swat/hit at people when you are mad, wonder if it is because Marmi told you to hit something when it hurt you. You hit Daddy and he spanked you wouldn't stop
- you love to say pata for pasta and you love to eat it! You also love guac and you say guac and
- you LOVE duckys, we can't wait to take you to the trails in Coppell to see some when it cools down, until then, you love your ducky in your bath, you say dut-tee and you say ka ka for quack quack when we ask when he says (ther animals you know...cow, sheep, puppy, kitty and their sounds)

We love you sweet girl!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Waffle Maker Round 2

So I don't know if you remember my post about the Krups Waffle Maker from a few months ago but I vowed to return it and just this past weekend finally made it back to San Marcos and did in fact return it! I found another waffle iron comparable to the other in price and though it wasn't the cutest on the outside, is AMAZING! It makes the best waffles, we LOVE them. So anyway, once again, it never hurts to ask and see if someone will return something you weren't satisfied with!

The brand we now have and like is Chef's Choice and I believe this is the link.

Happy Anniversary - A Month Late!

Dearest Andrew Mark,
What a terrible wife I am for just now writing to you reflecting on our now 2 years of marriage, well two years and one month :)! With driving home from a three week vacation on our anniversary, the new job changes that hit us like a freight train (in a good way) and all the normal crazies life can bring, we didn't exactly get to stop and celebrate. I say that but at the same time, on vacation and then throughout the past month we have taken time to enjoy one another and make a toast to our two years. Some of those collaborative celebrations included:
- a date trip to Gettysburg, PA to tour the battlefield and immerse ourselves in our favorite time period in History without sweet Eleanor concluded by a super yummy dinner at the Dobbin House in historic Gettysburg, a house that was erected before and stood during the battle over 130 years ago!
- A bike and walking tour of DC alone and an AMAZING late lunch at our new favorite DC restaurant, Founding Farmers (we ate there twice while we were there)
- a steak dinner cooked to perfection by you and toasted in our special anniversary crystal wine glasses with one of our favorite pinot's once we got home!
- The night preceding the steak dinner was accompanied by mai tais from our favorite restaurant in Maui to remind us of our honeymoon

Babe, you continue to amaze me every day. I don't give you enough credit for the hard work you put forth for our family and the love and enthusiasm put into your job.

The dedication you have to our family is most shown into your unexplainable love you have for our daughter, Eleanor. It is AMAZING to watch you two together and I cherish the moments we have just the three of us. In fact, I told you just the other day when we had enjoyed a breakfast together at home and were lounging while Eleanor played that this was all I needed. It was such a joy to spend that time together, just us three :) Thank you for loving our sweet girl so much and for guiding her already in her faith and providing an example of a man of God and father to her.

Thank you for the best friend you are to me. You know me better than I know myself sometimes ha! Thank you for the supporter and positive re-inforcement you so often provide me. I love you so much and can't wait to see what God has to bring us to come!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Eleanor's Feast Day

Eleanor's first name is of course not biblical though we once heard that she could someday make her name a "saint's name" :) Anyway, we wanted her to have a biblical or saint's name somewhere in her name which was why we named her Eleanor ANN. We choose Ann after St. Ann, Jesus' grandmother, the Virgin Mary's mother. We also choose that name because St. Ann is the parish where we were married.

St. Ann's feast day was on Tuesday, July 26th. I knew I wanted to take her to mass on her feast day and wanted to start that tradition of her special feast day celebration and then when I realized our parish was going to have a mass to celebrate we decided to go to that. It was even more special that St. Ann Parish asked that we honor our grandparents that day (because St. Ann is Jesus' Grandma and our heavenly grandma) so we went with Eleanor's Marmi and Pop Pop and honored them and all our grandparents.

Eleanor made a special sign for her grandparents to tell them she is thankful for them on St. Ann's feast day as well. She didn't really understand what I meant when I asked her to hold it out though haha!

I also found a few cute ideas for celebrating the feast day after the fact on one of my favorite Catholic cooking blogs! and Next year we can make her day even more special! :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Eleanor is 14 Months

Eleanor is 14 Months Old today! It is crazy that this time last year we had a teeny two month old. Boy how she has grown in a year! It seems like she just continues to get taller and taller and heavier now that we are mentioning growth ha!

Eleanor’s biggest feat of her 14th month was the 23 hour trek across the country and subsequent 5+ hour stretches in between as we went from Texas to Virginia, DC, Baltimore, North Carolina, Florida, and back to Texas in only2 ½ weeks! She was a CHAMP! Considering that she sat in her car seat with very few breaks and stayed in complete strangers home for that extent of time and still retained her composure was amazing!

Some of my favorite things about you lately are:

You love HATS, you go into our closet where Daddy's hats are all hanging and point and incessantly say "hat" until we post you up to get one. You got a PINK Civil War Soldier's hat as a souveneir from Mommy and Daddy's trip to Gettysburg and you keep it in your oven (random) but you love it and sometimes want to switch it out with one of Daddy's hats so it can hang on the wall too!

You love your babies. You are such a good mommy to them, feeding and changing them, patting their backs and pushing them in your stroller. We know you aren't ready for the responsibility of taking care of a real baby though when you slam them on the floor...haven't mastered the handoff/handling period of your babies haha! It is really sweet now that you are used to feeding your babies that you will often try to feed us or your other stuffed animals.You are doing so great at communicating what you want. You do the "all done" sign in your own way when you are finished with something and pretty much automatically without prompting when you want something you walk up and say PEA which means please. Sometimes it is so quick we don't realize that is what you are doing but you know exactly how to ask for something and often probably get annoyed with your slow parents :).

You can identify pretty much all of your family from pictures. You can look at a picture of Mommy's family and say Marmi, Pop Pop, Teetah (Keekda), Maywe (Mary), and KT. You see a picture of Grandpa from Daddy's side and say PawPaw everytime you see him. Every morning when I get you out of bed (lately it has been around 9:30/10am!!), you ask where dada is and I say work and you repeat, "wowk". Then you usually say a lot of the other words you know, almost to remind me all that you know and then say milk and Barney...I have to remind you that you just work up and we will have them later when you are ready for your nap.

Eleanor, you have become a Barney FREAK! You know what the case looks like and will find it and bring it to me saying, "Ba PEES!" You are very deliberate with your Please but also very polite and appropriate with its usage!

We just LOVE the light you bring to our lives. Mommy and Daddy are developing such unique and special relationships with you and we feel so blessed that you love us so much! Thank you for being our daughter, we love you and are excited to see how you do in this 15th month of your life! It is back to school and we are a little worried about how you will do with your parents gone after having spent 2 months with us! We will see...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hurricane "Summer"

Yes this Hurricane's name is Summer, not Katrina. We have not stopped and I think the eye of the storm is approaching, hopefully before it is all over! I am almost more tired now than I was when it began but we have been so blessed to pack as many family members and sites to see in these weeks of no school as we possibly could and though it has been tiring, it has been so wonderful. I wish I could post my calendar on here but just to give you an idea, will list where we have been and who we have seen since school let out.

School was out June 3rd for me. That night, we left Eleanor with my parents and went on a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Retreat. We had been urged by both our parents to go and really enjoyed it as it definitely opened up a completely new way to communicate with each other. It was exhausting though as we were both already dead from the end of the school year only to not get much sleep on the weekend and then if you have ever been on a retreat know how refreshing yet exhausting they can be.

Andy went to school for his last day that Monday the 6th also being requested to interview at Carrollton Ranchview High School for a Varsity Football/Head Track Coach position. WOW, to have to close up school and then go to not just any interview but one that required him to write an essay on the spot and that was very strenuous ONLY to have to come home to a psycho nagging wife who needed his help packing because our flight left the next morning at 8am to see his grandparents! WOW what a champ and what a lot to cram into one day. He ended up getting the job and well that is a whole different post!

Tuesday the 7th, we flew to Midland/Odessa airport and then drove 2 hours to Ft. Davis to visit Andy's dad's parents and siblings. We had a wonderful time, returned on Friday June 10th (almost already halfway through the month of June and we haven't spent anytime at home ha).

The week we returned was booked with doctor and dentist appointments along with Andy spending lots of hours up at his new school getting to know his new coaching staff and working with his new football players. We were, however, able to fit in some fun with our friends, the Vaniceks! We also celebrated Andy's second Fathers Day that weekend and ended it with a huge Mexican feast of his request, homemade and fried tostadas and fajitas with my family in attendance as well.

The following week on Tuesday the 21st of June, Eleanor and I left for Houston to brave the wildfires on I45 (yes we saw smoke on the side of the rd. but apparently were in no danger as the highway was open) and visit our friends and Eleanor's godparents, the Wentrceks, and the Tantons. Andy spent the week moving his old classroom at Renner (so sad he is leaving Plano but excited for his new job) to our garage and painting the locker room of the new High School. We had a wonderful time there and then headed home only to have to rush to clean house because my inlaws were to arrive the next day! AH yes see what I mean, hurricane, it never stops!

We had so much fun with Andy's parents and brothers, Tim and Mark. We swam, ate lots of food, and even made it to Grapevine Mills to do some shopping and allow Mark and Eleanor to create their first "Build a Bears." The Reinbergs left in time for me to have two days to do laundry, straighten up the house so we would have something nice to come home to, and do last minute things like exchange our brand new camera that wasn't working oh and buy my first Iphone because my old faithful of a blackberry decided to drown in the deep abyss of the whirlpool at the nail salon oh and one more thing, PACK for the three week trip we were leaving for on the 1st of July!

WOW - as if I didn't think the day would ever come/I would be ready when it did, we loaded the suburban at mom and dads and finished around midnight late on the 30th of June. Just before we hit the sack to wake up in a few hours and make the LONG trek out East, Dad suggested just loading up and going. Boy were we happy we did that. Eleanor slept a lot of that night and we arrived in DC (our first stop on the journey East) a day early. The 22 hour trip went fairly well and we had so much fun celebrating Independence Day in our nation's capital and most importantly with our sweet family (mom's brother and fam) who we rarely see.

So vacation had commenced and you would think vacation=relaxation. Not quite. My dear husband brings out the love of history in me. Pair his desire to see every monument, battlefield, and historical site he reads about in his history book with the fact has has never been to the northeast and you have a pretty exhausting itenerary. We went to almost every monument in DC, a few Smithsonians, the Capital/White House, and a few battlefields. We had so much fun but were so wiped out!

After that, we enjoyed a weekend in Baltimore with my dad's family and LOVED attending the wedding of and meeting my cousin's new husband, LJ. Still, no relaxation as we scampered to each wedding event and social gathering while sleeping in a hotel room and poor Eleanor being dragged everywhere.

That brings me to now. We are at my Aunt Gay's house in Pinehurst, NC to visit her family and my 95 year old grandmother, Grandmary (dad's mom). Today, I did get to sleep in and though I haven't stopped since I woke up and went running with my sweet "1st cousin once removed" (i learned this to be the title since we have been here...she is my cousin's daughter), we are enjoying ourselves! Andy played golf with everyone on my aunt and uncle's course whose 17th hole is visible from their back porch - don't worry, we brought them beer when they arrived at the hole ha! Grandmary taught me how to make her famous Maryland crabcakes and we indulged in an awesome east coast pizza chain for dinner.

Tomorrow we head to the pottery stores and Andy and Dad are off to golf again. I hope to get some time to spend with Grandmary and catch up as I haven't done that in quite a while! We will pack the car again and commence into the dark night for another 12+ hour drive to Perdido Key, Florida, near Pensacola tomorrow night. We are ALL hoping for the relaxation we have been craving this vacation once we arrive. We have decided we are doing NOTHING but passing out on the beach...well and taking turns playing with Eleanor in the sand (let's hope she is not interested in eating it). I have so many books I brought to read and well it would be nice to sleep some too!

I will add some of the, don't worry, 1000+ pictures we have taken to the post and future posts I am sure once uploaded on my home comp. Until then, let's hope this "Hurricane Summer" blows over soon and we get a little bit of relaxation in before school starts because crazily enough, there are only a few weeks left before that happens YIKES!!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Houston Trip

Eleanor and I enjoyed another girl's trip to Houston (last one being for Reese's baby shower last fall). We had so much fun first staying with the Wentrceks (E's godparents) and then spending a day with the Tanton girls along with sandwiching those two days around a Wentrcek/Reinberg/Tanton trip to the Houston children's museum - what a hit, I wish we had one in Dallas - we would be there every week in the summer! With Andy at home working and the Daddys working during the day, we had some fun girl time! We are so thankful for such wonderful friends! Pictures to come some day...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Eleanor is 13 Months Old!

I was looking back at my one month post thinking of this day last year! It is so crazy how big our little girl is now!

Some of my favorite things you do at 13 months are dance (especially during the clap song on Barney, you just jump right up and participate as if you were one of the big kids on the show), drag any bag you can find around as if it were your purse, say "bow" and bring a bow to me to put in your hair and sit still waiting patiently for me to put it just right in your hair (yes you do like your bows as much as your Marmi and Aunts thing you don't), say "hi" to anyone you see and you are persistent, if they don't say hi back you keep saying it (especially at the sleeping man behind us on your first flight), knock on the bedroom door while da da is still asleep saying his name and nah nigh looking back at me wishing he or I would open the door (when I finally do you run in and laugh and smile at the sight of him awaiting his arms to scoop you up), swim in the pool like a fish and force me to lay you on your belly so you can "kick kick kick" (you say it too while you do it), dunk under water and come up like a pro blowing out the residue of water on your lips ( no coughing or choking yet from this girl, you hold your breath!), lay in our bed and get SO excited to watch "Ba" (Barney) while you lay perfectly still drinking your milk before nap and bedtime, drop your bun bun and lion and paci in the crib when we get you up only to go back if we are playing in your room and point saying bun bun, LYN!, you SCREAM and love to exercise your vocal cords, you are repeating EVERYTHING (luckily none of Mommy and Daddy's bad words that sometimes slip yet) and my favorite would have to be "ocho" that you heard on your bilingual laptop, you are so involved in shopping now as you sit in your umbrella stroller - last time we were in Gymboree you, on your own, noticed a plethora of shoes and proceeded to scream SHOO SHOO SHOO until I acknowledged it (you are a shoe lover just like your momma), you repeat all the animal sounds but aren't quite there yet on saying the sound when we say the animal name, you can point to a puppy and say its name though!

There are so many new things you do and learn every day! It is so incredible! Here are a list of your words to date, I am probably missing some though - please remember too that they aren't perfectly annunciated but we understand you, usually :)

ocho, nine, uno, dos, fox, puppy, bear, cow, uh oh, shoe, ball, na na (banana), that, ba (barney), amen, abby, mama, daddy/dada, mamamama (Marmi), Pop Pop, Mary, Katie, Keekda, scotty (her new scottish terrier stuffed animal), bun bun, lion, wa wa (water), puppy, moo, oink, neigh, and lots more I just can't recall them all...

A funny story about you that highlights your individuality and your "you know what you want and when you want it" that is cute was that you ran up to your bows so sweetly and said you wanted a bow, put it in your hair (tried to) and then when it didn't stay handed it to me. You stood ever so still so that I could place the bow in your hair and proceeded to go back to the bows, point to a bow and say "bow". You repeated again until I put a second bow in your hair. This was what we came up with...I must say at least she picked to bows that both matched her outfit!

Eleanor, Mommy and Daddy love you more than you could ever imagine! Thank you so much for the joy and smiles you bring us every day! Thank you especially lately for the special snuggle time you gift me with. It doesn't always last for long but when you lay your head on me and bury it in my stomach when we are rocking or watching Barney or reading a book, it makes me melt! I love you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

My new love...

For Mother's Day/My bday/Christmas...probably a few other holidays as well, Andy and Eleanor got me something I have wanted FOREVER - a DSLR Camera and without question, a Canon. I have always had Canons and after reading reviews confirmed that I was in the right place with them as specifically with SLRs, I can use my mom's old lenses and the Canons have more automatic user friendly settings while also having the professional features for a more seasoned photographer (which I aspire to be someday).

If you know me, you know I refuse to pay full price for anything! In fact, that is why I didn't get the camera right at Mother's Day as I was waiting to see who would put it on sale haha! This desire could be due to my bargain hunter of a mom rubbing off on me or to my old boss at Sewell Lexus, Jerry Griffin, preaching to me NEVER to pay full price and telling me the story about how he buys new shoes. He had been in the car selling business for years so quite naturally would be blinded to every other method of doing business which is why you have to take this story with a grain of salt but also see some truth in it. Jerry went to buy a pair of dress shoes and when the salesman told him what his total was, he stopped and said, "Wait, what are you going to give me for these?" as he held up a tattered pair of old dress shoes. The salesman, tactfully tried to explain to "Mr. Griffin" that this was not the car business and shoe stores didn't take "trade ins". Jerry wouldn't leave without a fight and convinced the salesman to discount his new shoes and he ended up taking the old home (the salesman said he didn't want them).

I tell you this story because though it might seem ridiculous to some, my motto is, it never hurts to ask. So when I go to make a pretty big purchase, I have to somehow win and ALWAYS ask.

I researched prices online along with at other stores I had purchased cameras from in the past. I was going to not put down the company that irritated me but in an effort to be the better business beruau for a bit, I will go on ahead and say that Wolf Camera was terrible at their customer service and product knowledge but when I called Best Buy, I recieved the stark opposite and spoke with wonderfully knowledgeable and friendly people. After a few phone calls and learning that the camera I wanted was on special, I decided to go in.

On my way out the door, I googled "best buy coupons" and stumbled upon a 10% off coupon that expired on the 31st, the day I was going to visit my new friend, Ken, at Best Buy. When I arrived, my next favorite person, Ryan, told me all about the camera, played around on the camera with me, and took an hour to answer all my questions and show me what all I needed to go along with this new toy. Yes, I fell victim to "upselling" but knew I would going into the whole experience. Of course you need a memory card and in my experience, an extra battery. Much to my surprise, not only did I get the 10% off on the camera but also 30% off on accessories so upsell it up - especially if I am getting 30% off right? SEEE what checking google will get you? Over $200 in savings in my case this time!

SO I said you should always ask. Since I did some research, I knew that Wolf Camera, though they sucked at customer service, made up for it in a free photo/camera class. So, in an effort to get what I wanted, earn Ken my business, I asked "what he could do for me" shared with him my perdicament. I of course wanted to give him my business, he and Ryan did all the work and were so helpful but the camera was the same price on Wolf's website AND THEY threw in a free photo class. I didn't mention that Wolf DIDN'T have a 10% off coupon but that wasn't necessary...what did Ken do but he discounted the class they offer at Best Buy and made it work.

Another reason I love Best Buy is their warranty. For 3 years, I can do anything (I mean anything, drop it in the toilet, smother it in sand, jump on it, drive my car over it) to it and they will replace it. At the end of the warranty, I can purchase the warranty again too! It is a little pricey but worth it, I have used it on past cameras purchased there and my BOSE Ipod docking station. Lastly, Best Buy's rewards program sent me a $30 credit to the store for whatever I wanted just for how much I spent on the camera. Love you best buy, love you camera!

Eleanor 12 Months - One Year

Eleanor's 12 month checkup was a little late which is why this post isn't too close to her birthday! The above pic is Happy E and her Daddy awaiting the appointment and dreaded shots :( Here are the latest stats:

21 lb (65th%)

30in long (75th%)...crazy since she was 17 3/4in at birth and 7 lb 5oz...crazy how much she grew!

Head: 75th%

New Words: Mary, Amen, Yes, Fox, Nay (sp?...what a horse says)

Some of my favorite things you do include mommy asking you to give me a kiss and you turning your face towards me and opening your mouth so I can give you a big kiss! Sometimes you blow me a kiss or lean in towards me so I can kiss you on the forehead when I say "gimme a kiss." I love how much you are walking, well running! When I come to pick you up at Marmi's or Daddy brings you home to me, I open my arms and you run and bury your head in my chest. You are the sweetest little girl ever! I can't get over how beautiful and wonderfully full of joy you are! You are always smiling and just so happy!

You did have a little bit of a bad break right before your first birthday with your health. Apparently following in your mommy and daddy's footsteps with their first birthdays, mommy got pneumonia and daddy got. You got a sinus infection a week before your birthday which then developed into an ear infection while you at the same time somehow contracted a staph infection in your big left toe :( Poor baby, $120 in copays and three antibiotics later, your toe is still a little red and you still tug on your ears so it is back to the doc tomorrow. Beline didn't see anything wrong at your one year appt. on May 26th but who knows, something could have come back. You are definitely in better spirits though and were such a happy girl for your bday festivities all things considered!

You are eating just about everything. Your favorites still including black beans, cheese, any kind of "nack" (animal crackers, regular crackers, goldfish...) strawberries, oranges, edamame, and green peas. You still drink about 5 - 7oz. three times a day of whole milk (we started you on whole milk basically when we ran out of formula which was a few weeks before your 1st bday!) and still drink in a bottle though we plan to switch you to a cup any day now (once school is over). You drink water throughout the day and love it, especially with ice and a lemon in it (you only get a lemon if it is in Mommy and Daddy's water at a restaurant etc.) and you still have never tried juice - Mommy will keep it that way as long as possible!

Eating your new favorite food - guacamole and avocado

You LOVE to play! You got a kitchen for your bday and lots of fun accessories including lots of velcro cut and stack type foods. Your favorite is your "slice and bake" cookie decorating set from your godfamily (Wyatt, Jenna, and Reese) and you sit and try to cut/pull the cookies apart and stick the icing on for 20 min. at a time! You love to cook in your kitchen. You also love your Noah's Ark and little barn - you love to carry the animals around the house. You STILL love to read and Mommy will occasionally find you sitting quietly reading by yourself. You love reading so much that I will be feeding you in the rocking chair and you will refuse to eat because you are so focused on seeing your books and reading them! You even have your favorites that you point to and say pah pah (please). You also LOVE balls! Any size and shape, you SCREAM, "BAHHH" when you see one in the house, when you wonder where yours is, when you see one in a book or in the store. You LOVE balls!

Playing in the ball pit at your first bday party - BALLS everywhere!

You love all water including your bath and swimming in the pool and the lake. You like to kick your feet, splash and swim with your hands. You even say "kick kick kick" when you are kicking!

We are SOOO excited to get to spend the summer with you. Daddy and Mommy will both be home with you when we are in town, other time will be spent the three of us traveling together! We have so much fun with you sweet girl and can't wait to see what all we do and learn together this summer! We love you more than you will ever know! Praise you Father in Heaven for the gift of your daughter, Eleanor, to us!

School Days are Over...For Now...

What a whirlwind of a year - teaching three new subjects (Math, Science, TAKS Writing) and a new grade (4th). A new team, and a new type of kid - a 4th grader at the beginning of the year is a teeny 3rd grader...very different from a 5th grader. None of these "new" things were bad, I ended up loving them all, well maybe not loving all of them...definitely having a new appreciation for them...just being honest :)

Just in case I wasn't getting too comfortable, my principal decided to ask me to move to another new grade - 6th grade! I am so excited to teach World History and Reading. I will be departmentalized and will also be teaching Science to my homeroom. I am also blessed to have the opportunity to teach with my friend, Catherine, again. We taught 5th grade together two years ago. So as the commercial for whatever that product says I guess, "Change is good."

I am so excited to spend this summer with my sweet baby and husband. We have a LOT to pack into one summer, you will be hearing more about it in future posts. SO to quote another, and might I add the fervor and excitement in my voice when saying, "SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!!!!"

Sunday, May 22, 2011

How Old Are You Eleanor?

Eleanor, you learned how to show us hold you were JUST in time for your first birthday! You had such a great party! Lots of your best friends were able to come though we did miss others as well! Here are some of the highlights from your birthday week!

Your birthday celebration began on the morning of May 18th - your first birthday! My students had been anxiously awaiting the 18th to arrive for at least a month. They made "signs" for you, paper chains, and even brought gifts for you to open! Osama bought you a dress as did Maria. Maria also got you socks and a stuffed bunny because "Mrs. Reinberg" told her you liked "bun buns". We had mini cupcakes, goldfish, and animal crackers (your favorite snacks). You ate the goldfish and animal crackers, my 4th graders ate those along with the cupcakes. We were saving your first "cake tasting" for your first bday party.

Your gift from Mommy and Daddy was your kitchen. Here is a picture of the mess Daddy got to encounter trying to put it together TWICE! The first kitchen had some issues so overnighted another one just in time for you to have it your birthday weekend to play with!

After school, Mommy, Marmi, you, and Aunt Keekda met Daddy at Houston's. Houston's is a very special restaurant to our family. Marmi and Pop Pop frequented it when they were dating and first married. Daddy and Mommy ate there a lot including right after their first doctor appointment when they found out Mommy was pregnant with you. We also ate at Houston's the night we found out you were going to be out little GIRL! SO, we thought it only appropriate that we eat there on your first birthday! We also LOVE their chocolate sundae and since you were having a cake at your party, thought your first sundae could be your actual first birthday treat. We didn't have a candle but still sang to you and you DEVOURED your ice cream!

Your party was on May 21st at noon. Everyone started eating lunch and enjoying conversation as soon as they arrived. Your Mommy and godmother, Jenna, labored making the food while Daddy, Pop Pop, and godfather Wyatt worked collaboratively to grill some pretty amazing burgers! Everyone helped to hang up your decorations, Grammie and Grandpa showed up just in time before the party started and Grammie mixed Mommy's favorite "lemonade" recipe. She stole it from Cheesecake Factory's JW's Pink Lemonade. Well..didn't steal, the bartender told me so in case you are interested: 1oz. SKYY Citrus Vodka, 1/2 oz. Razzmatazz, cup full of ice, and fill the rest with lemonade. I used "Simply Lemonade" found in the refrigerated orange juice section of the grocery store. We even served some of your favorites for your friends, goldfish, black beans, animal crackers, strawberries, and peas.

After lunch, we sang Happy Birthday to you and you did a great job not getting overwhelmed with the 30 people singing to you! You loved it! Your cake was the cutest little smash cake and your guests enjoyed a dessert spread of vanilla cupcakes with cream cheese butter cream frosting, chocolate cake balls, chocolate covered strawberries, candy covered pretzels, and fruit kbobs!

Throughout the party, you and your friends enjoyed the "ball pit." Mommy initially bought a $30 ball pit from Target and then found the perfect pink blowup swimming pool for $10 at wal mart that worked even better! You and ALL your friends loved playing in it as well! Even your friend Reese who is only 6 months old!

You had so much fun opening presents and were ready for your afternoon nap just as your guests were leaving. We ended the day spending time with your "godfamily," Wyatt, Jenna, and Reese. You introduced Reese to swimming - her first time ever and with you in Marmi's pool!

You had such a wonderful birthday weekend and were so thankful to have so many of the people you love there to celebrate with you! For more pictures of Eleanor's first bday celebrations, see Facebook!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


May 18, 2010

May 18, 2011

WOW I can't believe it. This entire week I have been thinking back in my head, "What was I doing a year ago today?" As I write this post, I realize I was really feeling my contractions at this point. I would have been on pitocin since 6am and still have a few hours before I decided to get the epidural. My mind has erased the pain and I sit here wishing I could do it all over again. What an amazing experience it was to give birth to my sweet little girl and what an even more exciting and every emotion you could imagine-filled year it has been!

I think back on this year and all I can feel is so very blessed. I think of all the people whose children don't get to see their first birthday or who have had health problems, any of the many things people are handed with children and here I am with a beautiful, healthy, and so happy perfect (I am biased) little girl. What did I do to deserve this? I remember when I got pregnant being so upset and definitely not greatful at first and now, I can't imagine what I would do without this sweet baby! God, thank you so much for the blessing of our daughter, Eleanor.

Shortly after Eleanor was born, Andy and I went to a marriage conference with Scott Hahn as the keynote speaker. One thing he said that I will never forget is that not until you hold your very own child do you realize how much God loves you. You are looking in the eyes of this sweet perfect little cherub of a child, rocking him or her to sleep and you are overwhelmed with love for him or her. He told us that one night he was doing that with his eldest son and had a revelation that as much as he loves his son, God loves him a million times more despite all his shortcomings. As I hold my squirmy girl and not want her to let go, wanting her to stay in my arms forever, I again am filled with an unexplainable love for her and in turn am so thankful for that even greater love our Father in heaven has for us!

Eleanor, you have been more of a blessing to us than you could ever imagine. What a miracle it has been to experience seeing you in Mommy's belly as a teeny little spec and a little less than two years later a perfectly sweet and full of personality little girl! As your Marmi always says, "Our cups Runneth Over!"

We love you so much and can't WAIT to see what else God reveals to us through you. We pray that we may continue to lift you up to Him as He forms you eventually into the woman He created you to be. We hope that our family will continue to keep Christ as our center and our number one goal will continue to be to follow Him and His will! Heavenly Father, thank you so much for the gift of Eleanor, please continue to use us to show Eleanor your beautiful love and please keep her safe! Thank you for gifting us with Eleanor a year ago today!

We love you sweet girl, Happy Birthday to you!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Addictive TV

As much as I LOVE Thursday nights and get so excited about my favorite shows coming on, I have such a hard time sometimes watching Grey's and Private Practice. All this talk on abortons - I swear every other show has some talk of abortion in it and I just can't figure out what the show is trying to comminicate...the obvious could be that women should have the right to choose because it is their body and the government has given them that right but somehow I hope that they are trying to show the regret Addison has aftter having her abortion 6 years ago and that possibly being her only chance to have a child to show the other side of the pro-choice movement but ugh I don't know, I worry it is the latter. I just hate that a TV show on primetime television shows something as controversial and awful as killing a baby that is 19 weeks old and even going into detail about crushing his/her skull and the baby FEELING that at that gestation. I am probably opening up a can of worms by even writing about this and hopefully am not offending anyone too badly by voicing the hurt this episode made me feel but it was just awful. I don't understand what is happening in this world sometimes. I need to stop because I am about to venture down the negative path and really I just need to take this as an opportunity/reminder to pray for those who are struggling with difficult decisions such as abortion. As for my addictive TV shows - please quit talking about such controversial topics - but I guess that is what makes it dramatic TV right? AHH...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Eleanor's Latest Love

So we went from bananas to strawberries. This child SCARFS them when put in front of her and she can spot them from across the room and points at them and says PAH and usually with some spitting involved because she is that intensively saying her word for, PLEASE :)

I turned my back for a couple min. and she had grabbed the tub of whole strawberries from the counter, pulled them on her high chair tray and proceeded to stuff an entire berry in her mouth drooling its sweet, red, salivating goodness all over herself! Crazy girl!

In other feeding news, she is starting whole milk today in her bottle (half organic milk/half formula). Once we know she is ok with that, we will then transfer to a cup with her milk. She is still taking anwhere from 4 - 7oz. in a bottle. Mom said she took her bottle down great but did spit up a little after. I REALLY don't think she is lactose intolerant though because she eats cheese like it is going out of style so we will see how the next feeding goes - my little girl is all grown up!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Baby Jacob's Shower

Amanda and I had so much fun and were so honored to have been able to give Laura Verett, a sweet friend from High School, her first baby's shower. I think we both equally delight in throwing parties (and probably even moreso just planning them...well I can only speak for myself on that part) and had so much fun doing it together! Amanda's house is beautiful and she and Jason have done such amazing work on it (including completely redoing the backsplash, counters, and more in their kitchen) so it was a beautiful canvas to work with! Amanda and Jason did a wonderful job with the decorations making the pom poms and banners for the event, even the matching cupcake toppers. The pattern for the hanging blue and green pom poms can be found here:

The recipe for the cupcakes was pretty awesome! We then just did a basic cream cheese buttercream frosting and used food coloring. We served pizza bread (Jacob's fave according to Laura was Pepperoni Pizza so we did that with a twist...we also had an amazing hot spinach and artichoke dip with tortilla chips, fruit kbobs, a spinach and strawberry salad, "baby" quiches, and to drink served mimosas and keeping with the lime green/blue nursery theme and shower theme, limeade that you could add cherry to if you preferred.

Jacob is already here, it is crazy to believe! Thank you for letting us be a part of your shower Laura! Can't wait to hold Jacob!

Baby Blues

I am sitting in the rocking chair in the living room with computer in lap waiting for Grey's to get ahead enough so I can watch, silent apt. because Eleanor is down and Andy is still not home yet, feeling like the only thing missing is a huge belly, a box of frosted mini's, and heartburn. Why am I wishing it was this time last year ALL OVER again? It is like I have this weird longing to be pregnant again but not necessarily with our next child but with Eleanor. Maybe it is my weird Mommy instinct of not wanting to let Eleanor grow up, I can't believe she will be one in a couple weeks. I guess this past year of all things new made such an imprint on my heart that I don't want to let it go. Not that things are going to change drastically when Eleanor turns one, I think I am just missing all the excitement that came with blogging each night because I was off school, rocking in the rocker and waiting for my sweet bug to arrive. I also don't want to demean how wonderful her next year will be as every step has been so exciting and perfect! Why am I looking back and not looking forward? So not typical of my live in the future/plan everything personality. For the first time in my life I want to stay where I am if not go back in time!

Well Eleanor is HERE, the waiting is not going to happen and this past year has been and has been growing like a weed and every single minute is so fun to watch and see her learn and grow. I have loved more than I could ever imagine, every minute of it so why, when our dear friends who are at this very second delivering their baby with our same Dr., possibly in the same delivery room as us, 13 days less than a year ago, I am halfway wishing it was me so I could have this wonderful year again?! What is wrong with me? How have I already forgotten the pain and annoying catheter bag associated with my recovery along with feeling like my sole purpose was a milk cow for my daughter? How have I forgotten how tired and on edge I was thanks to a combination of lack of sleep and psycho postpartum hormones? How have I forgotten how difficult it was (still is but at least I am hopefully close to the end) to lose weight and how frustrating it was that my hip bones just wouldn't go back so that I could get my jeans over them? I could list a million things, trying to rack my brain, even pregnancy as a whole that I did not like about being pregnant so why am I somehow not remembering them when I have this burning desire to go through it all again?

I think part of me does want to add another member to our family but the other says, "Enjoy Eleanor and wait until God decides when you are ready." I don't want everyone to think that we are going to write a post in a month about expecting a second child because right now we think the plan is to wait another year but God does like to laugh at us when we tell Him our plans though Andy and I really don't feel like we just made this up - it was through prayer and discernment that we felt that was what He wanted for our family. I guess my prayer right now just needs to be for peace with God's will and that He give me the faith of our Mother, Mary, to trust in His will and to be His handmaid, that He may do with me what He wills. Ah Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!

Monday, April 25, 2011

He is Risen!

"Alleluia, for our Lord God Almighty Reigns!" "Jesus Christ is Risen today, Alleluia"! Two of my most favorite Easter songs, both played at mass on Sunday. I LOVE Easter! I might even like it more than Christmas but that is a tough call. I can't even verbalize the magic of Easter. Magic might not be the best word - not magic as in sorcerers, black magic, and wizards - anything anti-Catholic no more like the magic and wonder you feel when you go to Disney World as a kid. That is a better comparison - Easter morning at mass is like a kid in Disney World.

We had a wonderful Easter weekend celebration filled with lots of family and dear friends! Andy and I even were able to make it to two Holy Week masses/communion services! Here are a few pictures from the weekend...

Good Friday

We enjoyed a wonderful Friday off and were able to go to mass at 3 with our sweet girl

Eleanor's new favorite thing - to pick up objects bigger than her and carry them across the apartment.

Aunt MEA came in town and came straight to the apartment to see her "Mrs. Bubble". Her little clone also shares her love for cheese and went straight to the counter when she saw the cheese block exit the fridge. She then begged for the cheese until MEA gave it to her! She LOVES cheese!

We then went to dinner at Marmi's and had a great time with The Gentrys and Grandma and Grandpa who were also in town (along with Aunts Keekda and MEA). Nyah and Eleanor took a bath together - Nyah's first out of the sling! She is such a sweet little girl! She and Eleanor are about 4 months apart!

Holy Saturday

Another dinner at Marmi's after a fun day at Eli's bday party. The Riley's came over for dinner and we had a great time eating burgers and playing games. Eleanor is wearing her new outfit from "Aunt Amanda" - she loves her purple! :)

Eleanor was SCARFING blueberries so Grandma (my Grandma) took them away and put them on a side chair. Somehow E got onto the floor and found the will see below :)

Easter Sunday

Eleanor woke Daddy up and told him she wanted to go find where the Easter bunny hid her basket!

She found her basket!

Eleanor and her new bun bun from the Easter bunny and her Daddy!

"Hoppy Easter"

Eleanor helping Mommy go through her basket
After Easter mass, all in attendance except for Katie :( The Aldons have a track record for not EVER being able to all be at mass together (someone is sick or out of town...) for Easter and it has been going on for years...maybe someday....
Eleanor LOVED the baptismal font and couldn't get enough...

Our sweet little Easter Lilly in her dress and jacket

Opening her Easter present from Marmi
Ready to hunt eggs

Our little girl is getting too big! She picked up and dropped in the basket all by herself all the eggs!

What a fun Easter had by all! Lots of yummy food and fellowship with family! Happy Easter everyone!