Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Luke, Patty, Anna Kate, Caroline, and Eleanor

Monday, June 30, 2014

Five months old!

Sweet baby Eleanor, you are FIVE months old today!  You are an absolute joy to our family. You are constantly happy, always content, and the most huggable and kissable baby ever. There is so much I could write about your fifth month, but here is just a little bit about life with you these days.

- You absolutely love your toes. They are the best toys ever because you always have them with you. They're especially entertaining in the car seat or the Bumbo!
- In addition to your toes, you have a couple of other favorite toys as well. You have two little taggie blankies that you love (one is softer and more snuggly, the other has more toys on it), as well as a fun little taggie elephant that you play with a lot.
- You are still definitely a thumb sucker. Sometimes when we're driving I'll ask your sisters what you're doing and they usually say, "sucking her thumb and being cute!"

- Speaking of the car, you went on your first major road trip this month to DC and Norfolk. You were absolutely perfect in the car. I don't think you cried once on any of our three drives (7 hours, 3 hours, and 6 hours).
- You are getting quite strong and will be sitting up on your own very soon. I can easily carry you on my hip now and you support your whole upper body.
- You still like to be carried in Mommy's sling, but we also started using the Ergo quite a bit this month and you love it! It's been great for long periods of babywearing and nursing on the go.
- You've started to become very interested in table food. You like to grab at whatever I'm eating or drinking. You also grab tablecloths which can get messy! You still have to wait a little while before I think you're ready for food, but you're excited!
- You are going through a major growth spurt right now. Just last week on our vacation you outgrew all your 6 month sleepers. You are also just about ready to move to our medium size cloth diapers. I can also tell you're going through a growth spurt because you've been waking up to eat a little more often at night. But I don't mind the extra cuddles! You usually nurse about every 2 hours during the day, and then up once or twice at night here these last few days.
- Now that our house renovations are just about complete, we've moved you into the big crib in your own nursery. It is such a sweet room and I'll take some good pictures of it once I'm done organizing and decorating.
- You have also graduated out of being swaddled at night. You started rolling over to sleep on your side and tummy a little bit, so the swaddle had to go. You're back to sleeping mostly on your back now, but you like having your hands free to suck your thumb!
- You do really well sleeping in your crib at night and for your morning nap, but you still like the swing for your afternoon nap. And since it keeps you asleep for three hours, I'm willing to let you keep that habit for a little while!
- You really love being in the water. You are so contented in the bath and just love to relax in the warm tub while sucking your thumb! You have also had a number of opportunities to play in pools and splash parks here recently and you've loved them all!
- Your nicknames these days include the following: Ellie, Ellie-belle, Ellsy the Bellsy, The Nor, Norskie, Beleanor, and Chunky Lunky Monkey :) We're not really sorry - it comes with the territory in this family.
- You are such a giggly baby. Your daddy and sisters love to tickle your chunky legs, or kiss your tummy, or play peekaboo with you, and your belly laughs never disappoint!

Precious one, as much as we were captivated by you on that snowy January morning, our love for you just grows by leaps and bounds each day. Sometimes when I look at you and your sisters together I feel like my heart could just burst. We are all so thankful that you are a part of our family. You're the best!

Eleanor - 1 month

Eleanor - 2 months

Eleanor - 3 months

Eleanor - 4 months

Eleanor - 5 months

Swimming Lessons


Anna Kate and Caroline completed a childhood rite of passage a few weeks ago - their first experience with swimming lessons! They both had a great time swimming a few times last summer, and then again in Costa Rica in October, but always with floaties and with Mommy or Daddy's hands right nearby. Our county rec department does swimming lessons at a pretty good price, so we knew we wanted Anna Kate to do it. When I found out you could add a sibling for just $15, we couldn't pass it up. Now, Caroline's first day went exactly as I had envisioned it. She lasted about 4 minutes with her teacher in the big pool and then wanted to go to the baby pool.

Let's just say she demonstrated a healthy fear of the water. So when we got home that day, I made her a deal. If she would stay in the big pool for 20 minutes, she could spent the last 20 minutes in the baby pool. She did so well that second day that I almost didn't mention when her 20 minutes was up; but I wanted to be true to my word, so I told her she could go to the baby pool. She got out, stepped in the baby pool, then looked at me and said, "I go back to the big pool now!" And she never looked back!

Anna Kate also did very well and learned a lot of new skills. She can now push off from the side of the pool, put her face in the water, blow bubbles through her nose, and paddle all over the pool using just a noodle for floatation. I was so proud of both of them!

Eleanor enjoyed a little bit of splashing and just relaxing with Mommy.

It was quite a production for me to get all three girls dressed, to the pool, showered off, in the pool, showered off again, dried, dressed and back home, but we did it! We may or may not have looked like a circus act, but we succeeded, and had a great time!

Oh, and just for fun, how about some comparison pics of all three girls in the same swimsuit!

Anna Kate, 4 months old

Caroline, 7 months old

Eleanor, 4 months old

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Family Vacation!

After an extremely busy first half of June, it was time for us to get away on a little vacation. We had not seen any of my family since Christmas, so we headed up the eastern seaboard and did a little family tour. Both my older brother and sister and their families have moved into new homes this year, and none of them had met Eleanor yet, so this was quite a fun trip! We started out last Sunday morning at 3am, putting three sleeping girls in their carseats and heading north to Washington, DC. After one quick stop for breakfast, we arrived at their new rowhouse on Capitol Hill around 11am and were greeted by Sarah, Dustin, Wesley, Cooper, Colton, and my mom who had been there for the past week. The girls had such a great time with their three boy cousins! We made trips to the park, shopped at Eastern Market, played in a splash park on the Potomac river, visited the monuments and memorials, and just enjoyed being together.

Smiles from Grandma and Eleanor

 Grandma snuggling best buddies, AK and Cooper (just 10 weeks apart in age)

Cooper and Eleanor getting acquainted

Honoring Great-Grandpa Burgin at the WWII Memorial

Grandma with 6 of her grandkids at the Lincoln Memorial

Grandma with the girls

Our family

Anna Kate and Caroline with the Washington Monument

A carousel ride for everyone!

Caroline (ever-cautious) chose the bench seat

Splashing with cousins!

This awesome splash pool/fountain is 11 inches deep and about as big as a football field!

Walking with Grandma

Colton REALLY loves his mama, but Aunt Patty is a close second!

After three days in DC, we made the 2.5 hour drive to Norfolk, VA, to see Stephen and Rachael and their girls, Leah and Bekah. They had such a fun few days planned for us! We spent Thursday morning at their Botanical Gardens and splash park.
 Bekah - because she's adorable

Leah, Bekah, and Caroline

Leah and Caroline

Running and splashing

And then AK dressed up as a monarch butterfly

And Caroline swept up the playhouse

Ellie even got in on the splashing!

Heading home for great naps!

Friday morning, we went to a lovely beach on the Chesapeake Bay and enjoyed some sunshine.

This is how Eleanor spent quite a bit of the morning!

But then she woke up for a while!

All five girl cousins!
Eleanor (4.5 months), Bekah (18 months), Caroline (2), Anna Kate (4), Leah (5)

Friday evening we went out to a fun little pizza place and then enjoyed another splash park and some live music downtown.

Throughout the week, we of course enjoyed lots of baby snuggles!

Bekah enjoyed practicing her new big sisterly duties (baby Burgin is coming in just 6 weeks)!


Early Saturday morning, it was time to head back home. It's always sad to say goodbye to everyone, but we are so thankful for such a wonderful week!