Category Archives: Eleanor Stories

Summer Bucket List – Eleanor Swims!

Posted by: Josh

Josh here. Don’t be alarmed. I’m here to talk to you today about.. yes.. swimming.

Eleanor is nuts about the pool. I guess most kids are, right? We’ve been going to the pool for years now (and well she’s only 4-and-a-half, but I can say that, for YEARS, which, technically, is true! and also makes me feel grizzled). And just in the last month, she’s finally unlocked the secret, finally earned that badge — Eleanor swims! Like, underwater, by herself! What a champ. I’m so proud of her!

There she goes.

Don’t worry, that creep in the beard and sunglasses is me.

I’m taking credit of course, because this girl hasn’t had a swim lesson since she was a year-and-a-half (that’s three years ago, swimfans). And Maggie doesn’t do the pool if she can help it, so it’s usually me and Eleanor, pool pals.

To be honest, though, I feel a little silly claiming to have taught her how to swim, because really she did it all herself (though I will still take credit, as it is the fatherly thing to do). She loves the pool, as I’ve said, but in the past she’s been a lot more interested in playing AROUND the pool than in it. This year she’s finally developed a taste for spending time IN the water, though still clinging to me. She’s never owned any floaty type devices, so I always just hold her and swim her around myself. We consciously decided to avoid the floaties when she was younger because we were concerned that she would develop a false sense of security around bodies of water. If you know Eleanor, you’ll know why we didn’t want her being brave about water without the requisite swimming skills. May I remind you of her daredevil tendencies? Yeah.

Lately though she’s been enthusiastically “borrowing” the noodles, inner tubes, and other assorted flotation devices of her fellow pool-going children. We finally decided to get her a noodle of her own.

It was apparently the right time, because she went wild on it. Hog wild — if hogs could swim (can hogs swim? surely not, that would be terrifying). As soon as she had her own noodle, she was swimming all over the pool, by herself, just her and the pink extruded tube of polyethylene foam, with utterly no fear or concern about where or who Daddy was or was not (P.S. I found a lot of the words in this Wikipedia post about noodles upsetting — particularly “noodleskin”. Say it again…  “noodleskin”. Say it again.. um no thanks).

Then, without a lot of prodding, I convinced her to try it without the noodle for a few minutes each session, until she was doing it more and more, and then she was just dog paddling her little bottom off! Go girl! Yessir.

Oddly, she has this habit of not using her left arm whilst dog paddling, which gives the impression that she has been grievously wounded there, perhaps in the course of a bank heist or liquor store hold-up in which she has been winged by the overzealous gun-toting cashier and then leaped down the gorge (who built this 7/11 next to a gorge?) into the fast flowing river below and is paddling one-armed to freedom. And she’s left-handed! Doesn’t she want to use that arm? I can’t seem to convince her.

Nevertheless, the girl is swimming! Dog paddling, and under water alike! Proud.

So hang on to your noodleskins, Eleanor is probably on her way right now to a body of water near you! Yes, YOU (I am vigorously pointing in your direction, heads up and when did you start wearing that hat it is stunning)!

Here’s a few reminders of what a cutie pie she has been at the pool:

First Pool Visit

First swim ever! (6 months old!).
Swim Lessons
First (and last) swim lessons (one-and-a-half years old)!

First Swim of 2010

First swim of 2010 (two-and-a-half years old).

First Swim of 2011

First swim of 2011 (three-and-a-half years old!).

Check out more summer adventures from our Summer Bucket List!

Eleanor’s Recital

Posted by: Maggie

Last month, Eleanor had her Spring dance recital. She and her class were adorable in their yellow tutus dancing to “You are My Sunshine.” Unfortunately, the recital was held in those magical evening hours when delightful children turn into crank monsters. Luckily, Eleanor’s class we first so we were able to sneak out after her performance, because she was not in the mood to sit through two hours of other kids dancing! (See the sullen ballerina photos at the end of this post.)

Enjoy the video! Eleanor is the tiny ballerina second from the left:

Our Sullen Ballerina

George’s Second Month

Posted by: Maggie

George turned two months old last week and I realize that I haven’t really posted since he turned one month old. There is so much going on right now with the little ones at home and Josh back at work, and me back from maternity leave that I haven’t had any time to spare for this blog. Sorry friends! I’m going to try to be better about blogging this summer, especially since I’ll be blogging all of our Summer Bucket List adventures. I already have a few posts ready to go and a bunch more planned.

Anyways back to George’s second month. The last month has been fairly eventful and entirely exhausting. On the day he turned one month old we took George on his first real outing (aside from GoGo’s house, or the doctor’s office). We went to get some delicious frozen yogurt as a reward for Eleanor getting enough stickers on her sticker chart (I’ll be post about that soon).

I also had my first trips out of the house without baby. I met with my intern Tessa at Starbucks a few times and FINALLY went to have my hair done to get rid of these horrible roots (thanks Stacy)!

AND I started working out again! I’ve lost 5 lbs so far and as of now I’m another five pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight (but 35 from my goal weight)! I’m working hard though. I just joined an intense cardio class that meets three times a week for the next six weeks. The plan is to lose enough to get into a bikini by the end of the summer. We’ll see…

We also had our first big family outing, a trip to the Bug Fair at the Natural History Museum. George was very cooperative, sleeping in his stroller the entire time we were there.

Meanwhile Eleanor, got to check out some bugs and get a butterfly painted on her face.

And George has even been enjoying Family Movie Night with us.

Although Eleanor has been very good with her brother, she’s been feeling a little bit neglected since Josh went back to work. She just went back to school this week, so the last four weeks she’s been home with me and George all day. Since I’ve been trying to get work done while taking care of George I just haven’t had enough time to play. So I’ve been trying to include her in taking care of George, working on craft projects together, and doing other little things around the house. In the photos below, we’re checking out the solar eclipse with a foil viewer we made, and Eleanor is helping me prepare basil for pesto.

As I mentioned, Josh went back to work after four weeks at home. The lucky bastard. I was left at home all day with the two little monsters (Josh is gone from 6am until 6 or 7pm).  The first two weeks were ROUGH! It is ridiculously hard work taking care of a newborn and a preschooler. They are both demanding in different ways. There is never a moment when I am not waking someone up, putting someone to sleep, changing a diaper, getting someone dressed, cooking a meal, nursing a baby, cleaning up a mess, doing a load of laundry, calming a crying baby or preschooler, or entertaining someone. Not a moment of quiet. Not a moment to myself. I’m lucky if I get to shower twice a week. But it is obviously worth it for all the little moments of love in my day.

The best part of the last month has been the appearance of smiles and the start of baby conversation. First he started to have longer and longer periods of wakefulness, where he would be wide-eyed, taking in the world around him. Then when he was five weeks old he smiled at me! It was amazing. Eleanor gave her first smiles and laughs to Josh, so I was sooo excited to get George’s first smile, and for a few days I was the only one getting smiles! Shortly after, he started talking…all. the. time. He’s going to be a little chatter box just like Eleanor. He is constantly “aahhh”ing, “oooh”ing, and “ehhh”ing at us, with lots of sighs, coos, and gurgles. His favorite thing to say is, “Ahgoo?” It’s always a question. And he carries on just like he’s having a conversation with you. He talks and pauses for a response, and then responds back to you. He’s always smiling as he talks and he gives these super flirty little sideways smiles with an eyebrow raised. It’s the most charming thing ever. This baby has serious charisma!

It took forever to get his smile on camera and I still haven’t caught his flirty smile yet!  First, I caught this blurry one on my cell phone.

But as soon as I put my DSLR up to my face my attempts ended up with photos like this:

And this:

Finally, with a little help from Daddy, I caught these:

See those super adorable dimples on each cheek?! I love him so freaking much!

Page 1 of 11012345102030...Last »