Tuesday, October 28, 2008

See you at www.theleen.com!

I've finally made the switch from Blogger to Wordpress. I've (obviously) been at Blogger for a very long time, but I'm excited to explore the new world of Wordpress.

This means that if you've been using http://shinelikestars.blogspot.com to access my blog, it will no longer automatically direct you to my new url, www.theleen.com.

So please take the extra minute to type the url in and visit me over at the new and (soon-to-be) improved www.theleen.com!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

week in review, 10/15/08 (a day late)

Sorry this is a day late; things have been busy in our house this week!

Friday: We had to give Elanor a bath in the kitchen sink because we were in the middle of re-painting and re-caulking the bathroom, so we couldn't use the bathtub all weekend.

Saturday: We dog-sat our friend Kim's dog, Fipo. He was really sweet and patient with Elanor, and she loved playing with him.

Sunday: Hanging out on the couch before I got her dressed for church. She loves to nom on Papa's deodorant container...go figure.

Monday: An impromptu early-morning photo shoot while she was playing in the living room. She seems to be thinking, "Huh. I have a hand. That's cool."

Tuesday: Official nine-month photo. She was not pleased. She was already overtired, and I couldn't get a good picture so I kept trying, which (clearly) did not make her happy.

Wednesday: Just playing around with Photobooth on my computer. I sound like a total dork. Heh.

Tomorrow morning, my eight-year-old nephew Zachary is coming to visit for the weekend, and then he and I and Elanor are taking the train back to Portland on Sunday night. Elanor and I will spend the week down there and then Brett will join us for the weekend. I am taking my computer to Portland with me so hopefully I'll have a chance to post while I'm there!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

October 14: Monthly Letter and contest results

The results are in!

At her appointment on Friday, Elanor measured thusly:

28 inches long
23 pounds, one ounce

Okay, if I'd thought this out better, I would have just had people guess on her size, because the chances are slim-to-none that anyone would guess both right on.

And, of course, no one did, so I guess I will have to declare two winners:

For weight: Meg, whose guess of 23.5 pounds was only off by a few ounces
For length: my sister Melissa, who was right on with her guess of 28 inches

Congratulations, ladies! The prize is a $15 gift card to Powell's Books, my favorite bookstore, because everybody needs more books! Meg, send me an email to the address in the sidebar with your mailing address and I'll get it out to you, and Liss, I'll get yours to you when I'm down there next week.

Thanks to everyone who participated; it was fun! I will have to think of some more contests in the future.

My two cents on her weight and height is that it sure as heck seems like she weighs a lot more than that. *shrug* I was downright shocked when I put her on the scale and that's what it said, but there's no arguing with a scale. It means she's still 95th percentile for weight (only 75th for height) so it's not like she's small, she's just lighter than I guessed. I suppose she just seems a lot heavier since I carry her in the Ergo so often. Go figure; apparently I am just bad at guessing these things.


Dear Elanor,

Today you are nine months old! I am not sure what to write without it sounding trite or full of clich├ęs about how wonderful you are or about how much I love you or about how much of a joy it is to be your mom or about how fast you're growing. (All of those things are true, though.)

Eight month picture, September 14

You are getting bigger all the time and are continuing to develop into a fun, hilarious, curious, good-natured child. That said, Papa and I are starting to get glimpses of how strong-willed you are. If we’re doing something you don’t like (usually involving holding you in our arms and trying to get you to go to sleep), you protest vehemently with crying, grunting, and arching your back to try to make us let go of you and let you keep playing.

Playing, September 24

You are both crawling and standing up with ease. A few weeks ago, when Noni was here, you stood up in the bathtub, holding onto the side with your right hand. You then noticed that your rubber duckie was in your left hand. So, you let go of the edge of the tub, standing on your own and playing with your rubber duckie. Noni and I looked at one another in amazement and disbelief as we watched you stand on your own for at least 30 seconds before sitting back down on your bum.

Standing up, October 13

Since then, your pulling up skills have vastly improved, and you will now pull up on anything. You cruise around the living room, holding on to the edges of the furniture. We can’t leave you alone for a second anymore; that’s how long it takes for you to get into something you shouldn’t or to lose your balance and bonk your head.

Making malarkey, September 26

These days, your favorite toys appear to be mostly non-toys: our camera bag (best.toy.ever), Papa’s hairbrush, a plastic clothes hanger, your shoes, and a silky ribbon belt that came with a pair of your pants. I gave the belt to you to play with because I just could not fathom putting a belt on a baby. It appears to be a good decision, since you love it so much.

Nom-ing another favorite non-toy, Papa's deodorant, October 12

You are eating a lot more table food. We recently got you a high chair and you enjoy sitting up at our level for meals. You have not rejected any food yet (including Kalamata olives, which was a huge surprise for us) and you enjoy eating all kinds of different things. You pick up the little bits of food with your thumb and forefinger and bring them to your mouth. If things are crunchy, your (now seven) teeth take care of it, while making a really cute crunching munching sound. You still love to nurse, though, and I’m so glad.

Eating peach cobbler, October 6

Every week you seem to babble more. You now say many, many different babbling sounds. While you don’t have any real words (other than Mama) you do seem to be putting the pieces together about how language works, varying your tone when you babble and listening to everything we say. You’ve begun to say Papapapa, and I believe you are starting to understand it means that big, hairy, bearded guy who likes to tickle and snuggle you. And it’s no surprise that you’ve figured out how to tell us you don’t want to do something, which is when you say Neenaynaynay.

Peering over the edge of the couch while starting to stand up, October 13

You also seem to understand some signs, especially the sign for more, which you seem to do by clapping your hands. This afternoon, you were sitting in your exersaucer and you clapped your hands. I looked over and asked you if you wanted more Veggie Booty (your favorite food, ever, hands down, no contest) and you got a huge smile on your face and clapped your hands together more, as if to say that I understood you. You now patty-cake, too, (which Noni taught you) on command and love to clap your hands even if you aren't trying to say more.

In the Ergo, about to leave for community group, September 23

The best thing that's happened in the last month is that I'm done with my job and I have been able to be home with you all day, which I love so much! We have a good time, going for walks, playing toys on the floor, or rolling around and laughing on the bed.

Being gorgeous, October 13

Waking up next to you and Papa every morning and seeing you smile at each of us in turn is a beautiful thing, and I look forward to it every single day. I know, I say this every time, but you are truly a joy and a pleasure to spend my time with and to parent. I love you, my girl!


Friday, October 10, 2008

place your bets...

Elanor has always been, well, big for her age.

Even when I was pregnant, we knew she was big.

She has her nine-month checkup this afternoon (even though her nine-month birthday isn't until Tuesday...but that's a long story) and one of the things I'm most curious about is what she weighs and how tall she is.

I know a lot of our family and friends are curious, too, so in the spirit of friendly competition and curiosity, I'm going to give a special prize (yes, something real!) to the person who guesses the closest to what her actual weight and height are.

To make the most informed guess, you'll probably want to know previous stats, so here goes. I'm including pictures, roughly from around the time of her checkups, to give a visual as well.

When she was born, she weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.

At her first pediatrician visit when she was four days old, she had lost a little weight, but was a little longer: 8 pounds, 11 ounces and 20.5 inches long.

At her two week visit, she weighed 10 pounds, 8.5 ounces and was 21 inches long.

I can't find the little sheet from her two month visit, so I don't know what she weighed. I totally can't remember.

But at four months, she weighed 17 pounds, 5.5 ounces and was 26 inches long.

And at six months, she weighed 2o pounds, 2.5 ounces and was 26.75 inches long.

Here's her eight month photo, the most recent chair/pig one.

Here's a picture from last week. I know it's not in the chair with the pig but at least it gives you an idea of how big she is.

She's wearing a range of sizes, anywhere from 6-9 month stuff (although it's getting small) all the way up to 18-24 month stuff. The 12-18 month stuff tends to fit her pretty comfortably.

She seems so much bigger to me now than she was even at six months. It seems like she has grown a lot. But then again, at six months, I was expecting her to weigh closer to 25 pounds and she was clearly a lot less than that. However, she's always been solidly in the 95th percentile for both height and weight.

So, all of that said, what do you think? What are your guesses? I honestly have no idea. All I know is that she gets heavy awfully quickly these days when I try to carry her around.

Like I said, the winner will get a prize, probably a gift card to somewhere online! (Not for much, because I'm not rich, but it will be somewhere fun, I promise.) I'll announce the winner, let's see, how about Tuesday, her actual nine-month birthday?

Until then, comment away with your guess!

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

week in review, 10/8/08

Wednesday: A view of a train going under the overpass at Fisherman's Terminal while Elanor and I were walking. I love seeing the trains at the rail yard there and it was neat to stand right over it and watch it go along the tracks.

Thursday: On the Ballard Bridge. She fell asleep in her stroller while we were walking to do our errands after playgroup.

Friday: On our drive to Ellensburg. We stopped here so I could feed Elanor, and the sign just cracked me up for so many reasons. First of all, the turtle at the top -- awesome. Rachel, he's totally an awkward turtle. Second, the juxtaposition of words made me laugh -- beans, beer, gas. Food, ice, LP (what in the heck is LP?). Lotto, scratch, dog. (Why dog? WTF? Is this all some kind of random code language that I don't understand?)

Saturday: In the pool at the motel in Ellensburg. Elanor adores the water!

Sunday: Brett and Elanor in our motel room in Ellensburg, just as we were getting ready to leave.

Monday: Elanor trying peach cobbler for the first time. I bought a box of peaches in Ellensburg so I made a cobbler, which is a special dessert in my family. The recipe was my mom's grandma's, and it's a traditional dessert we've always enjoyed. Elanor certainly liked it!

Tuesday: Elanor and I went for a walk and the view from Sunset Hill Park was so beautiful. This picture really doesn't do it justice.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

wow. kind of intense.


I just tried to make some oven-baked french fry-ish sort of potatoes. Did not go so well. Perhaps it is a message from the Lord about my possibly excessive love of potatoes.

I turned on the oven to preheat while I peeled and sliced potatoes. As I finished, I realized it smelled funny in the kitchen.

I opened the oven door to see what the deal was and there were FLAMES, like actual firey flames, in my oven.

I think I yelled, "OH BALLS!!!" while I just stood there, dumbstruck, and watched the flames for a minute, thinking about how I don't have a fire extinguisher and maybe I should call 911 and what in the heck would I smother a fire that wouldn't just catch fire itself IN THE OVEN AHHHHHHHHHHH!

So I did the first thing I could think of. I grabbed my phone and called my mom, since I knew she'd a.) answer right away and b.) know what to do. (There's a good chance Brett wouldn't be able to answer and that he would have no idea what to do. Mom seemed like a better choice.)


"Oh, uh, wow! Um, baking powder! Put baking powder on it."

I ran to the cupboard and threw it open.

"Powder? Are you sure, powder? Not soda?"

"Oh, uh, I, uh...yeah, soda! Baking SODA."

"Soda soda soda where the heck is the SODA!!!"

I finally found it behind the red wine vinegar (seriously? I clearly did not re-shelve it properly last time I used it) and turned around to see smoke billowing through the kitchen (well, ok, maybe just wafting) and Elanor looking at me with curiosity. I pulled the oven racks out (with a hot mitt, of course, I'm not that dumb) and threw them onto the oven door, then proceeded to dump at least half a box of baking soda onto the flaming piece of whatever-the-heck was stuck to the bottom of my oven, extinguishing the flames.

Whew. That? Was a crazy five minutes.

And I am still hungry. :( Sigh. I guess I will wait until the oven cools off, wipe it out, and then try again with the potatoes. And I guess that I will also be running a self-clean cycle on my oven, very, very soon.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

week in review, 10/1/08, and a special birthday shout-out

Thursday: At Fisherman's Terminal, while walking to pick up some things for my WAHM gig. Elanor laughs like crazy when I say "net shed" to her over and over again in a silly voice.

Friday: In the Ergo, munching on the camera strap, looking beautiful and luminous in the natural light from the dining room window.

Saturday: Walking to Fiore. The trees were glowing with the sunlight, and they looked very dramatic against the dark grey sky.

Sunday: Chopping tomatoes and putting them in cans.

Edited to add the following: So, I didn't really take any pics on Monday or Tuesday. Yeah. Lazy. But, in consolation, I'll post this.

Today is my nephew Zachary's eighth birthday. He's always been a fun and wonderful kid, and he's growing into a fun and wonderful young man.

It's hard to believe that this day was eight years ago. And yet, at the same time, it seems like it's been so much longer, like Zach has always been a part of our lives.

October 1, 2000: I'm holding Zachary on the morning he was born. He was so tiny!

December 2000: I'm pretty sure this was when I was home from college for Christmas. Can you see where Elanor gets her chunkiness? Ha.

July 26, 2008: This is the most recent pic I have of him, from when we were down in Portland this summer. He's the one in the back making the hammy face. From l-r is our friend Molly's son Carter, then Zach, then Zach's brother and sister, Jacob and Adeline.

So, happy birthday, Zach man. I'm so glad you were born and that I get to be your auntie. I love you!