Tuesday, August 31

hey, ellie! come here!

 she scooted as fast as she could when mommy called!

okay okay, here's the real reason she came creeping so fast:

so this is how i spend most of my day -  a baby and a dog hanging out by my feet. 
ellie has recently perfected the art of throwing both arms around my ankle and wailing until i pick her up. judge doesn't like to be left out of the fun ... and he thinks "come here" is always meant for him.

goodbye august! i can hardly believe you're almost gone.

Monday, August 30

business lunch.

an animated discussion over a light meal. 

 i love my job.

p.s. - happy birthday to my sister, sarah!

Sunday, August 29

by the way,

here are the teeth. 
well, as good as i can get. 
she likes to put her tongue out when she opens her mouth.

 her smile is all tongue. 
can you spot the jagged little pearlies? 

Thursday, August 26

million dollar baby.

 let's get ready to rumble. 

Wednesday, August 25


what counts as "the first word" anyway?
the first time she repeats me on purpose
or the first time she says it and knows what it means?

Tuesday, August 24

six months.

eleanor has been around for half a year!
um, what?! 
i remember seeing six month babies when ellie was born and thinking that they were so big and developed and i just couldn't picture my baby growing so much. now my six month baby is that baby!

on february 22, she was 7 lbs 7 oz and 18 1/2 inches. now, she's working on 17 lbs and 25 inches (approximately - we have our appointment later next week). she's strong and healthy and beautiful.

 (she even looks blurry in person)

she has perfected the army crawl and can get around fast, especially if she spots an exciting forbidden object on the floor. if you put her on a floor full of toys, she'll crawl past them to get to the one permanent marker in the room. yes, trouble. she uses most of her energy scooting to me or daddy or judge and just hangs on to us. she can sit up okay, but hasn't quite perfected her balance. she doesn't sit still long enough to really be good at it yet. she loves to stand up and wants help doing it all the time. 

she has two teeth! she's eating cereal! i can't believe how grown up she is. she loves food. when we're eating, she makes "num, num, num" noises with her mouth to let us know she wants some, too. she wants to do pretty much anything we're doing - writing, talking, singing, cooking, laughing, typing ... in fact, she just grabbed the keyboard and somehow posted this post before it was finished. i had to delete it and transfer everything to a new one.

she's getting a little more hair, but it is really light. she makes some great expressions and i can usually tell how she's feeling with one look. scared, surprised, frustrated, mischievous, bored - she can blow through ten emotions in ten seconds. 

her favorite song is old macdonald - not sure why. i think she enjoys watching us scramble to think of more crazy animal noises to make. no other song has the same power. as soon as we start with "oooooold ..." she stops screaming immediately. weird.

she also likes:

being held
"helping" me do things
making messes
crinkly stuff
going naked
daddy hugs and kisses
her friend in the mirror
being in the kitchen
eating technology
being loud
smiling at strangers
finding yucky stuff
banging on anything
trying new things
mommy's hair

(this is her new quilt, pieced by my mother-in-law's grandmother and sewn by her cousin. it's beautiful.)

she dislikes:

the vacuum
getting stuck
falling asleep and staying asleep 
not being able to wiggle
not being involved
tummy gas

she definitely keeps us busy. in fact, i need to go stop her from eating the plug on the vacuum cleaner (she only gets scared when it is on).

boy, we love our little girl.

Friday, August 20


first tooth, wednesday. then, yesterday afternoon, she literally cut a tooth while i was making dinner. she was chewing on a teething ring and i saw blood. the friction must have made it break all the way through!

last couple of screaming pics before the tooth became visible:

not even glowie could help much. we're feeling much better now, though.

Thursday, August 19


for a couple of weeks now, ellie has been acting like a ravenous, starving animal. she grabs food from my hands, tries to inhale anything that looks remotely interesting and cries when i am eating and she is not. i had tried to let her pretend to eat with spoons and cups while sitting in her high chair, but it just wasn't enough anymore. she has also been waking up at night just dying to eat.

last night ellie tried her first helping of rice cereal.  here she is, gettin' excited about dinner:

and a bite:

she ate the whole thing very quickly and complained if i paused too long to take pictures. in the end, she just sat very still and stared out the window, looking as dazed as most people look after thanksgiving dinner.
i think food totally blew her mind.

and, if you haven't had enough yet (and i don't blame you if you have had enough)
here are three short videos documenting our journey:

Tuesday, August 17


jailbird! and her eyes look a little creepy here ...

we have a very restless baby on our hands these days. she prefers sleeping in my armpit, when she does sleep at all. some nights (and afternoons) i spend hours bouncing and rocking an extremely tired baby to sleep and the minute she hits the mattress her eyes fly open. how dare i put her in her bed!

somehow, after all that work, when ellie finally falls asleep my body just won't. i think my brain figures that i'll just be getting up in a few minutes anyway, so why bother? anyway, i'm just hoping i can get some reading done or something. if ellie won't let me read i just end up watching every show on hulu, which usually includes all of the terrible abc family shows. depressing, i know.

i'll give her this: so long as i hold her or cuddle her, she doesn't make a huge fuss when she stays up all night. she mostly smiles and plays quietly (that is if i do not put her down, even for a second). i mean, she could be screaming nonstop, right?

i'm considering going back on the juice. and by juice i mean caffeine. nothing extreme, but maybe if she gets a little wired during the day she'll crash at night? at least i won't have a constant headache.

she doesn't want to miss one minute of life. she also wants to suck on the tags of all her toys. i don't know?

Monday, August 16

a celebration of life.

today is one of those days when i wish that there was such a thing as public teleportation. you go to the station, swipe your pass, and get on a little platform that beams you anywhere you want to go. i would like to think that it would be called 'trekking', too, but that's beside the point.

i'd like to be with my family for the day to join in the celebration of my great-grandmother's life. 

grandma vivian was 98 and a half when she passed away last week, at home. after almost a hundred years, it wasn't really a surprise that she was leaving this earth, but the world does seem a little less bright without her here.

seeing that she was my father's grandmother, she was always old to me. her tiny little body, shrinking every year (although she refused to believe it and insisted everyone was just getting so tall!), her bright white hair and her face wrinkled from hard work and decades of smiles.

i'll always remember playing in her little house that somehow stretched to fit our ever-growing family. puzzles and coloring books and the old, old noah's ark set that my dad had played with when he was a boy - setting up the tiny animals, dividing the species amongst the cousins. she had a chair with a little notch in the arm that could fit a penny inside and we'd try to get it out just to shove it in again. we'd always hope for a candy from the dish before we gave her a hug and kiss when we left.

we loved her backyard: the giant garden, the neighbor's chickens in the tree, the little pathways along the fences. we fed the horses next door, ran around in the trees and occasionally helped in the garden.

when i got older my mom, grandma and aunts would take turns bringing dinner to her and staying to chat. she loved when my mom would bring a chicken strip meal from arctic circle as a treat. they worked on family history together for hours, my mom recording grandma's stories about relatives none of us had ever met. 

my favorite story: 
when grandma was a little girl, she was pretty rough and tumble. her mother passed away very young. grandma always had short hair because she couldn't be bothered to care for long hair - she was too busy working hard and having a good time. one day, her cousin came to play. her cousin was all dolled up in a frilly little dress and was basically the opposite of everything grandma was all about. as they went off to play, little grandma got a wonderful, awful idea. "let's go make mudpies," she said. of course, when they returned to the house her cousin's sweet little dress was a wreck. her cousin was in a world of trouble. and grandma? even as she told the story, eighty some odd years later, her eyes twinkled merrily (as they often did) and she smiled a little. 
"i was just peached," she stated, as proud as could be.

 toward the end grandma wasn't quite as sharp as she used to be, but with so years under her belt and so many grandchildren and greats and great-greats, you can't blame her for losing track of some of the family. when the husband came along, poor grandma kept saying, "yes, i know that's cathie's daughter, bradie, but who's the boy?" ellie was born just one week after grandma turned 98. ellie had two living great-great grandmas when she was born - five generations of family on both sides of my family.

we were blessed to have her with us for so long. she was a beautiful, kind, loving woman and i wish i could be with our family for the day, celebrating her wonderful life.  

love ya, grandma vivian. 

p.s. - i wouldn't mind in the slightest having that bright white hair when i get old.
hint, hint to the man in charge of these things ... :)

Friday, August 13


it was my birthday yesterday. 

ellie was wonderful. she wrapped herself up like a present (with me watching to prevent any strangulation, of course, so don't think i'm awful) and played nicely all day. even though she wouldn't nap, she sat content in her swing so i could shower.

i was also part of this adorable naptime. picture me, right in the middle:
(oh, and yes, ellie's new favorite toy is her toothbrush. i think that's a good sign?)

when daddy got home, we all went out and i got some cute stones for the necklace i'm slowly putting together (and have been working on since mother's day). i had the letter already - for fowler, of course! i got an amethyst for ellie, a garnet for daddy and a moonstone to match my engagement ring. i still need to find the right peridot for me. oh, and a chain. i spent too much time in one store though. i have to go visit my other favorite shop downtown later. maybe this afternoon? 

judge even left me a present when i got up yesterday. and two more today. he shouldn't have. he really, really shouldn't have. 

the only bad part was trying to come up with a birthday-worthy treat that did not include chocolate. i quickly made a no bake cheesecake with blueberry topping. it was pretty good. i think i might try a better planned confection later this weekend.

oh, and the stars even fell for me. did you know the perseid meteor shower is always on my birthday? i know, right?!

anyway, 24 is sofarsogoooooood.
now i might need some birthday cheesecake for breakfast/lunch. or one piece for each meal?

Wednesday, August 11

a day in the gardens.

husband kept speaking to me like a proper englishman while we strolled through the thanksgiving point gardens. well, we "strolled" for about ten minutes and then we wiggled and carried and splashed and rode on shoulders and used many other modes of transportation. 
the day was perfect and gorgeous and we had a fantastic time. 
my favorites: ellie riding on daddy's shoulders, the pink color combinations and the swarming fish.
i got sunburned (but my legs stayed as white as ever) and i forgot how to stand sideways in photos so as to appear thinner. 

now we'll have to see how our botanical gardens compare. 
yes, that's right, i haven't been to any here in georgia. yet. i'm working on it!