Monday, September 22, 2008

Making Progress

For those wondering, our little cottage in the city is coming along nicely. It's feeling more & more like a place we could actually live every time we visit. We're not holding our breath, but hopefully we'll be doing just that in the next few weeks. Here are a few sneak peeks of what's unfolding. A complete album of current pics can be viewed on Picasa. And to refresh your memory, these pics show how far we've come.

No more paneling or dark carpet in the living/dining room!

The kitchen is free from tile and wallpaper and opens to the dining room!

The upstairs bath has been transformed from Barbie pink (though some remnants still decorate the window frame) to classy Carrera marble.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Intro to Zoo

Due to constant downpours we missed visiting the zoo on Elynor's birthday... but since we were temporarily living just two blocks away, we made an inaugural visit later in the week. Though we had a great time, in all honesty, I think we could have been at any location with open paths for walking and people to watch and "meet". Elynor paid little attention to any animals... unless you count every other child who she could walk up to. Hey, I guess it's good that she can discern her own species. And since the zoo is free, I'm confident we'll have many future opportunities for her to discover the zoo animals! Here are some highlights from her fave area, the "Farm in the Zoo" (I guess she is truly a Westrom) -


Only food could lure this girl away from the cab of the giant tractor.

The little chick peeks out before returning to a rousing game of hide & seek.

Prepping for future MN visits with a stop in the dairy barn (cows were behind us).

Lawn Girl

Elynor insisted on helping us mow the lawn today. Do I see a future summer job?


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Celebration

"This time last year..." has peppered our conversation throughout the weekend. It still blows our minds that at this time last year we were less than 48 hours into our new world as parents... just getting to know our little (though at the time, on the big side:) Elynor. Each hour of each day seemed filled with newness. Questions, concerns, hopes and delight filled us as we focused on the present and the future.

Now one year later we're still getting to know our little (though growing) Elynor and discovering our ever-expanding role as parents. Questions, concerns, hopes and delight still fill us and each day still seems to hold something new.

It's this dynamism that seems to mark the journey. And our ability (or inability) to embrace it that marks our experience.

This weekend we celebrated the dynamic 365 days that have been - for us and for Elynor. We continue to thank God for her - the little girl she is becoming and her role in growing us. We also thank God for the amazing friends and family who have loved us on this journey.

Here are a few highlights from our intimate, somewhat limited by the 24/7 rainstorm, celebration (a larger party may follow once we're in our new home... or we may just have a blow-out 2nd birthday) and all the pics are on Picasa.

The Pink Birthday Princess arrives with her Knight in Shining Armor (thank you for loaning the first b'day wardrobe, Campins' & Mouse's).

I'll have one of those, and one of those... I am the princess, right?

I guess I'll share with my entourage.

Swingin' on a sugar high!

Sorry to rush but I gotta get home before the clock strikes 12.
Until next year, it's been fun!


video

Saturday, September 13, 2008

365

Happy Birthday Elynor Aline!
You've come a long way, baby...
We love you!


September 13, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gracias Tio Jorge

Elynor's Uncle George (my sister Becca's husband) was so excited for her birthday that he flew in all the way from San Francisco to help us kick-off the celebration. Amazingly, his work also scheduled a conference here in Chicago. ;) We had a rockin' fiesta in the beer garden at El Cid in our new hood. Upon seeing Elynor, our fave waitress asked us why we hadn't been there in awhile... and proceeded to play with Elynor throughout our dinner. We enjoyed the "free" babysitting and a fun night out.

Gracias para mi libro fantastico Tio Jorge y Tia Becca!
(We're still working on Elynor's Spanish)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Nomads Cross State Line

Last week Elynor made her first visit to the great state of Indiana (well, outside my stomach, anyway). I don't think she became a hoosier, but we did have a great visit/stop on our nomadic journey with my sister Katie (and Karla, Dan & Georgia and Mike & Sarah & Josie) in Indianapolis. Thanks, Kate, for your patience (especially during the 4am wake-ups) and gracious hospitality! Here's a photo summary of our fun times -

This table was awesome for "hiding" under and also bumping my head. Why did you ever give it away, Mom & Dad?!

Aunt Katie took me to my first Indian restaurant. The food was pretty good, but even better were the art and the really friendly waiters.

She also taught me how to make brownies. When finished, she let me feed her some batter.

Then she fed me! I was a big fan.

Then Mom woke up and made me take a bath.

The next day we did some exploring. One of my fave stops was this toy store where I could play with the toys and the older kids.

On our last night we went out to represent the Bears in this Colts-frenzied town. I got to stay up really late and have an early birthday celebration with this mile high ice cream pie (you're welcome, Dad & Aunt Katie)!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Last Year

On Sept. 10.

On Sept. 12.

As we approach Elynor's first birthday it's difficult for me not to reflect on this time last year. Isn't that what the first birthday is really all about? For parents and loved ones to stop and reflect on how much their life has changed... and to celebrate the blessings?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Stop!

Elynor & I arrived at my sis, Katie's, place here in Indianapolis on Wednesday eve. Praise God, Elynor slept most of the way here and she continues to be a champ adapting to new sleeping quarters (here she's holed up in Katie's closet) and other new surroundings.

Katie's place is a super-cute one-bedroom in an area of newer Indy development (I'll have some pics later). I would have loved it back when I was a single or newly-married girl. The problem is, it's not exactly primed for a very curious almost-one-year-old. Of course, this is no fault of Katie's. I mean, what would her friends say about all her outlets having baby covers? Or her nice wood furniture having corner cushions to break falls? What this has meant is very diligent watching from Elynor's mama... and the far too frequent refrain, "Stop!" (At 9am this morning I thought I should have counted how many times I'd said stop since Elynor woke).

The good news is that Elynor is getting very good at listening to and honoring my command. And her Aunt Katie is very cool with her things being temporarily displaced (thank you Katie). It's just making my days a little more exhausting... and has meant a few more bumps for the little girl.

Monday, September 1, 2008

It's Official

Elynor is on the move...

video

And in other signs she's growing - a few nights ago we were out for dinner (a common occurrence right now) and Ryan claims she has a molar in the back of her mouth. Being the in-the-know mom that I am, I quickly discount this claim, asserting that it's way too early. Surely it's just bread. He says, "you wanna bet?". And of course I do. Sticking my finger in the left side of her mouth quickly shows me I've lost the bet. Sure enough, there's a molar back there - bottom left. Wow! We decided that probably explains some of her fussiness in recent weeks.