Monday, August 20, 2012

A random mid-month Eleanor update

Here's some cool stuff my baby is doing. I'm not waiting until 5 months to share, because I need to focus on some good stuff now, and Eleanor is FULL of good stuff. We're having a bit of a rough day today, so it will do me good to put my brain in a better place

1- She's sitting up. By herself. Sort of leaned forward in a tripod-ish position, and only for 3 to 5 seconds at a time, but still! It's the first step. She's so close to doing it on her own.

2- Some other milestones: she rolled over officially on July 28th. She discovered her feet on August 6th, in the "eat my toes all the time" sort of way. Then on the 15th we discovered that she could sit up a little bit. All these tiny discoveries have come during the middle of some of the saddest days our tiny family has seen, so it's been a real blessing to have her around. She gives us something positive to focus on.

3- She's been "chewing" on things recently, so I think I'm going to start putting some food in her face. I'm fascinated by baby-led weaning, but I also want to try to make some purees myself, so I think we'll do like we do with diapering--a mish-mash of styles that works for me and keeps me from going crazy. She's definitely a grabby girl at the moment and likes watching us eat, so she's probably close to ready for other foods. I can hardly believe we're even at the point to start talking about this. Nursing has turned into something I really like to do. I don't like when Eleanor seems interested in putting everything BUT me in her mouth, but I love how happy she is when she's nursing. I remember some friends talking about knowing for sure that switching to a bottle was the right choice for them because it made meal-times a happy thing again, and I understand that now. After that first awful month, I never thought I'd enjoy feeding her. I wanted to do it, and I was happy that I could do it, but I didn't enjoy doing it, if that makes any sense. Now that I see solid foods (or mushy ones, whatever) on the horizon, I'm a little sad. Happy that she's growing and developing, and happy that I'll get a little break from being her only food source, but also just a little sad that things are changing. Not that we're done nursing by any means, just... Different.

4- She's started giggling somewhat reliably. Snurffles on her ribs or her daddy's whisker kisses seem to do it almost every time. Her giggle is still one of the best things to ever happen to me. Ever.

dude... look at those eyes!
5- Splashing! Friday night, in the bath, she discovered that she can splash the water. It was so fun to watch her little face light up. She's enjoyed baths for most of her life, but this was a new discovery and she was just delighted. Happy baby is my favorite color.

6-Speaking of color, we've been very curious about what color Eleanor's hair is. Right now, the fluffy fuzz she's got is sort of... Golden brown? Sandy-ish? It looks reddish in the light and she's got blonde eyebrows, so what she ends up with is sort of anyone's guess at this point. She doesn't have the BRIGHT RED hair I had as a baby. Neither does she have enough hair to really tell. BUT! She's got some more hair coming in, like an undercoat and it seems to be blonde. Bright blonde. Pure golden blonde, like her eyebrows. Where on earth that comes from, I have NO CLUE. Maybe from Jeremy.

7- On a totally shallow (and vain) note, my baby is beautiful. I love looking at her face. She makes all these crazy expressions, which are very hard to capture on camera, and someday, when her eyebrows aren't invisible, they'll be even better. Also, having a little girl means I get to buy tiny tutu swimsuits. Yeah!

Bean's baby with Beylit
chillin' with her puppy
8- She's taking an interest in the pets now. She watches them and tries to reach them. Thankfully, we have one of the sweetest dogs I've ever known and he is so incredibly patient with her. Also, with other babies. At my niece's 6th birthday party yesterday he let an 18mo old little boy get a death grip on his fur as he (the boy) tried to walk. Puca just stood there and waited to be rescued.

9- She got to meet one of her namesakes. Jeremy's grandma Wanda's maiden name is OQuin (spelling and punctuation confirmed by a high school reunion notice) and it made my day for her to get to meet Eleanor Quinn. Also, Gib, Jeremy's granddad, was just amazing with her. He made her smile and laugh. It was such a pleasure to see him delight in his latest great-grandbaby.

Friday, August 17, 2012

A series of bad Fridays

I am flattered that Eleanor wants to be like me. With the shape of her fingers and toes, and those chipmunk cheeks, she's got a good start on looking like me. I had to explain to her that some things I'd rather she wait to mimic.

3 weeks ago my granddad fell. They* thought he broke his hip. At the hospital it was determined that his hip wasn't broken, but an old injury had been exacerbated. Other complications arose and he died.

2 weeks ago, Eleanor's granddad** fell. They thought he broke his hip. At the hospital it was determined that his hip wasn't broken, but an old injury had been exacerbated. Other complications arose and he died a week ago.

It's been a series of bad Fridays around here.

J wrote a great post about his dad over on his blog, and I don't have much more to add to that. Randy loved his family. He loved being a grandfather and was delighted to spend time with all the babies. He always said I was his favorite daughter-in-law. As it turns out, I'm also my Aunt Cheryl's favorite niece. Mostly because there is no competition in either category.

Tonight we had a party. A jam session and a time to tell stories to celebrate Randy's life. Those are the two things I remember him doing most--telling stories and playing music.

* "They" being medical professionals
** He was almost exactly 30 years younger than my granddad

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

4 months

4 months?!? Already?
The Vitals:
14lbs 12oz
24.5 inches
She gained pounds, but not any length. Let's hope that she enlongens out soon.

Bagels came to visit! It was wonderful! Just wonderful.
I invited the internet to my living room--and they came!
She had her first pool party, with many other babies. I have some super cute pictures, but they're on my camera, not my phone, and that camera seems to be missing in action (which means I don't know where I put it when I put it "away")

Rolling over--both ways, but she hasn't figured out that she can do both at the same time and GO places
Napping--she's not a pro yet, but she can do it. Somewhat reliably. Sometimes. She can soothe herself to sleep, which I think is the greatest thing ever
Shoving things in her mouth
Grabbing things, like her toes!

Works in progress:
Holding things. She can get them, but she has a hard time KEEPING the things that she's gotten. Except my hair. That she holds on to JUST FINE, thankyouverymuch.
Sitting up. Oh, she wants to sit up ALL THE TIME and needs just the littlest bit of steadying to do so.

She likes:
Sitting up
Her toes
Fabric--give her a burp cloth, a blanket, her dress and she is happy as a clam! 
Watching the fishes at the Boswell Sr. house (pictured here with my mom)

She dislikes:
...not a whole lot these days. She's generally happy except when tired, so I guess there's that

I like:
Her babbling. She talks and talks and talks.
She wakes up happy with this silly morning grin that just makes my whole morning better (sappy, but true)
Her fuzzy head (which has significantly less cradle cap now!)

I dislike:
This sleep regression thing. Waking up (happy! Babbling!) Every 3 hours is so 2 months ago! But, she mostly puts herself to sleep after eating, so that's good.
All in all, not too shabby. A good month!

Friday, August 3, 2012

And then there were three

I don't want to write this post. I want it to exist, but I don't want to write it.

Last Thursday, July 26th, I was telling the ladies of my mom's group how lucky I was to have all four of my grandparents. 70 years of marriage on my mom's side, 66 years on my dad's side. Add to that the 43 years of my folks marriage and I have an incredible wealth of experience to call on about marriage and family.

My granddad was a neat old man. John Haworth, but everybody called him Howie. Well, I called him Granddad, but you know what I mean. I think he was the second or third generation named John who went by his middle name. My Uncle Mike is really John Michael, and his son is John Paul...but we call him Buddy. I'm getting off topic.

Granddad liked rocks. For my birthday one year, he mounted a piece of peacocke ore in a hexagon frame. Peacock ore looks like an oil slick made solid, all purples, blues, greens and golds. Purple has been my favorite color since I could pick it out of a line up, though I called it purkle for longer than anyone will let me live down. So, this was a perfect gift. He gave me the gift of purple in his own currency.

Some time after his 85th birthday, Granddad decided he needed a hobby. So, he took his love of rocks and decided to make jewelry. I have beautiful chunks of turquoise, malachite, lapis lazuli, tiger's eye, all polished up and mounted as earrings and necklaces. Each one has his initials and the year carved on the back.

Granddad liked prime rib, shrimp cocktail, the color orange, trains, coins, and photography. I remember so many evenings sitting around with the family while Granddad clicked through the latest set of slides, telling stories from around the world.

The first greek letters I knew were Alpha Chi Sigma, Granddad's fraternity of chemists. (The second set was Gamma Phi Beta, for my mom's sorority.) His Lincoln Towncar had a vanity plate up front with those letters. I thought it spelled AXE.

Last Friday, July 27th, Granddad said goodbye to this world. He gave us so much beauty and wisdom. I hope Jesus had a big pile of rocks waiting for him.
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