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!!!!"