Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eleven Months

Another month has come and gone, and here we are a mere four weeks away from the tot's first birthday. My scrawny little 7 lb. baby has somehow morphed into a 21 lb. ball of fury. She is wild and loud and carefree - exactly how every child should be. As I watch her overcome obstacles and discover new experiences, I am constantly amazed at how her little mind works. Her fearlessness frightens me to my core, but it also excites me at the same time. She is fiercely independent and stubborn, traits that she received equally from her father and myself. She is simply amazing, and I hope that each of you have the chance to experience her in live action one day!


Jake and I must've been extra good this month, because our sweet little one has officially learned how to throw a tantrum (and it certainly didn't take her long to master). Her high pitched squeal that used to be cute and endearing is now the ultimate form of torture. Heaven forbid her food is not served in a timely manner or we walk out of a room and leave her in it by herself. Thankfully, these tantrums are short lived as Jake and I don't pay them any attention. I'm hoping they will decrease as she realizes that there is no reward for this behavior, but (knowing our luck) I'm sure they'll only get worse as the toddler years approach. I have to give her props though. Girlfriend really puts her entire body into these things, typically throwing her arms up, whipping her head back and opening her mouth as loud as she possibly can. Clearly, she has her mother's flare for the dramatics.

Her sneakiness has intensified now that she has learned to open and close doors. While getting ready for work in the mornings, Jake and I put the baby gate at the end of the hallway giving her unlimited access to our bedroom, her bedroom, and the spare bedroom. This generally leads to a fun game of hide-and-seek prior to leaving the house. The tot can often be found under a pile of shoes in my closet or in the bathroom trying to stick her hands in the toilet. I mean, really? She obviously doesn't understand what goes on in there.

She has also discovered how to take off the air vent covers, which I can somewhat understand. Every girl likes to feel the breeze blowing through her luscious locks, but vent covers are sharp and pointy and could easily lead to one's eye getting poked out. And no one has time for that.

Her love of food has only grown this month, as she has been eating more table food at home and daycare. She is still a pasta lover (but honestly, who isn't?) and will always take a break from playing for eggs. Putting her in the highchair is a daily struggle, but as soon as she sees there's food, she's fine. This kid just cannot stand being confined. But really, who can blame her?

We are still holding our breath on the walking front, but I can assure you that it will be coming any day now. She is able to stand from a sitting position and can hold herself up for quite a while before her wobbly knees get the best of her. She loves to walk when we are holding her hands, but as soon as we let go she's quick to drop to the floor. I blame it on the big ole booty that she inherited from her dad, but what do I know?


Despite the tantrums and her need for things to be done on her timetable (gee, wonder where she gets that from...), she really is the sweetest, happiest little girl. I love her wet smooches more than anything, and she is always ready and willing to give them. As you can see, she is quite aggressive in her approach, but who doesn't want an adorable baby to throw herself on top of you and smother you in kisses? Seriously, it's heart melting.

We love you and your hilarity so much, baby girl. It's less than a month until your birthday, so momma's gotta get to work!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Life Update

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, but life has been so hectic lately! So many new things to discuss... It's almost like our lives have flipped upside down - but in the best way possible!

First things first, after two months and three rounds of interviews, I am so excited to finally announced that I have accepted a new job offer! My first day isn't until September 8th, so I have been busy trying to wrap things up at my current job until then. This new position is with a company that I have wanted to be a part of for quite some time, so I was absolutely ecstatic when they called and offered me the job last week. A larger salary, better benefits, and a reputable company known for its happy employees made the decision an easy one. I'll be sad to leave my current job (and a handful of co-workers who I absolutely adore), but this move will be so great for our family and for my career. I. Can't. Wait.

Upon acceptance of the new job, Jake and I decided that it was time to trade in my tiny SUV for a larger, family vehicle. We have been talking about making this switch for some time now and with an increase in income as well as rumors of an even worse winter than the one we had last year (if that's even possible), we thought we'd start looking now in order to take advantage of the end of summer deals. After scouring the internet for a month then traveling all the way to Kansas last weekend to test drive a complete dud, I was done. I decided we should take a break and wait a month or two before looking any more. Then my ever-so-sneaky husband somehow managed to talk me into test driving a vehicle Monday night which, of course, we ended up purchasing. And let me tell you, I am head-over-heels in love with this vehicle!  It's safe, reliable, and well within our price range. And the features! This thing has touch screen navigation, leather interior, dual sunroofs, second and third row bucket seats, and power everything! It is completely possible that I will never learn all of the functions that this vehicle offers. (I swear, it is smarter than I am.) Plus, it's black and shiny and - let's face it - down right sexy. One drive and I was hooked. Jake, you win this one.

So, here it is in all its glory - our 2014 Ford Explorer Limited.

Or as I like to call it, an early 30th birthday present to myself.

In other news, yesterday was National Dog Day, so I feel it necessary to say a few words about our furry friend, Charlie. Jake and I had just moved in together and were in search of a puppy when we found Charlie who was just a couple months old. We quickly made him the center of our world and smothered him with all of our love and attention. He was our baby until Taylor joined us last fall at which point his world turned completely upside down. To say these two don't get along is an understatement. They are equally jealous of one another (heaven forbid I ever pay the other any attention) and they are still very unsure of what the other actually is. To Charlie, Taylor is a foreign object that has yet to leave and, to Taylor, Charlie is a giant fur ball who is constantly knocking her over because he is completely unaware of his 60 lb. frame. So much crying and howling... It's exhausting.

We celebrated National Dog Day with two of Charlie's favorites - a long belly rub and some snuggles on the couch (after the tot was in bed so that he could have my full attention, of course). He is such a kind, gentle, loving animal, and even though he and Tay don't see eye to eye, we're all slowly (but surely) learning to live together as a family of four.

Lastly, what would a blog post be without an update on the tot? Today our little girl is eleven months old. ELEVEN. That means her first birthday is just right around the corner. I can hardly believe it. She woke up this morning in the absolute best mood! So happy and full of life, babbling on about nothing just to hear herself talk. She even gave Jake and myself kisses on the lips prior to leaving the house for daycare, so I know she must've been in a good mood. Tonight's monthly photo shoot is destined to be a complete shit show, so I was happy to receive her smiles and smooches at the start of my day.

Although summer is winding down, I feel we are just getting into the thick of things with my 30th and Taylor's 1st birthday less than a month away. Although we are super excited for all of the events to come in September, I pray that fall will bring cooler temperatures and a less hectic schedule. Until then, we'll be trying to keep up with life as it continues to fly by at warped speed.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Flashback Friday

Don't worry, all! I haven't abandoned the blog. There have just been some major changes happening at the Eldredge household lately (which I will gladly share with you at a later date), but - for now - let's kick off the weekend with today's Flashback Friday!

You'll have to excuse the horrible quality of these photos. The majority of these pictures were actual prints that were digitally scanned in, because iPhones weren't around back then. (Really showing our age here...)

In honor of one of my BEST friend's 30th birthday tomorrow, I am throwing it waaaaay, way back to 2004 when I happened to stumble upon these three ladies who have brought more love and laughter to my life in the past 10 years than most people ever experience in a lifetime! They are truly amazing and each of them will always hold a special place in my heart. So, I raise a glass and cheers to you as I sit and reminisce about all of the good times we've shared.

From our first night together as roommates on Kirkhill Road...

To the most random road trips...

To every Mizzou tailgate where we drank entirely too much beer...

To those random post-college nights where the stars aligned
and the four of us were actually in the same city at the same time..

To Miller's Christmas parties...

And ringing in the New Year...

To the vacation of a lifetime (even though you were sick the entire time)...

To celebrating marriage...


And celebrating babies...

To remembering not to take life too seriously...

And to best friendships with each other and our amazing husbands!

I hope the next decade treats you as well as the past one has, watching our babies grow and making more memories together. 

Happy 30th Birthday, Mibhef! I love you more than words, friend!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Eldredge Family Vacay (Part 2)

After a hearty breakfast of donuts and coffee Saturday morning, we headed down to the river front before leaving the city. After all, you can't visit St. Louis, MO and not see the world famous arch. What we didn't take into account was that it was a Saturday, which meant there would be tourists everywhere. And there were. The ticket line was at least a mile long (if you think I'm joking, I'm not), so we knew right away we wouldn't have time to go up to the top. Thankfully, our guests weren't that upset about it, so we toured the museum, took a few snapshots, and decided to hit the road.

Taylor wanted nothing to do with wearing a bonnet or taking this photo. 
She really enjoyed the old man that took it though.

After making our way through the maze of construction that was downtown, we were on our way to Tennessee! We made our usual stop in Metropolis, Illinois so that Mindy and Will could see the giant Superman statue (to which his response was something along the lines of, "That's it?"). Ha! I feel ya, kid.

Just as we began to see the Nashville skyline, another torrential downpour came. And it was a doozie! I was clawing the seat, slamming on my imaginary passenger-side brake, and praying to God that the other cars wouldn't slam into us. My nerves were completely shot by the time we arrived in Smyrna. Thankfully, our sweet little niece, Lindy, was a nice distraction!

It was fun to see the girls side-by-side compared to the last time they were together! Back in March, Taylor had just begun to sit and Lindy was learning to crawl. Now, Taylor is on the verge of taking her first steps while Lindy is running through the house like a mad woman! It's amazing how much our babies have learned in such a short amount of time.

We spent our time in Tennessee without schedules or agendas. The mornings were spent playing with the kids and lounging in our pajamas while the afternoons were typically filled with shopping, swimming, and trips to the splash pad. It was refreshing; it was relaxing.

And on not one but two occasions, Jake and I were able to leave the house tot-free and spend some quality time by ourselves. We had a quiet dinner at a local steakhouse one evening, and we spent another morning touring the Opryland Hotel and Resort. Both were much needed (thanks again, guys)!

 The hotel and resort is so beautiful. I highly recommend taking the time to see it. Baby-free, of course.

On our last night, we attempted to take some family photos for Jake's mom since she was unable to make the trip (next time, Nancy!). We had attempted to take a few shots of Will and the girls earlier in the day, but our attempts were failed to say the least. Apparently, all we needed was some southern comfort food to put us in the mood, because after dinner at Cracker Barrel we were able to capture some pretty decent shots. Frozen yogurt and a trip to the park didn't hurt either.

Wednesday morning we loaded up the truck and said our goodbyes. It's hard living so far away from family, but we really try to make the most of our time together when possible. Unfortunately, life is just different now that we've added little ones into the mix. And after a week of missed naps, new surroundings, and constantly being on the go, I think we were all ready to be in our own homes and back to our normal routines.

And we were able to capture this precious gem until we can all be together again.

No worries, Nancy. We can Photoshop Monica & Jacob in here somewhere!

Until next time, Eldredges!