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!!!!