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!