15 Months With Eleanor


I haven’t written much in the past few months, and the other day, it was beautiful, Eleanor was in a really good mood and we took some fun pictures. So I decided I’d go ahead and do another update about Eleanor to keep the ball rolling. Eventually, I plan to reinvigorate this blog, but I don’t feel like putting a timeline on that because let’s be honest, timelines aren’t always a mum’s best friend.

Eleanor is 15 months, and this year just seems to be going by at the usual pace…as fast as ever! Is it seriously mid-October?


Highlights & Milestones

Since the last update at 12 months, it seems there have been many highlights and milestones. For starters, Eleanor started walking about 2 weeks after her birthday, and I’m not sure she’s stopped moving since. She loves walking, and she’s started venturing into the realms of running, climbing, scooting, tip-toe ballerina walking, and twirling. The girl basically doesn’t sit still. She’s full of energy and loving exploring and playing all day, every day.

In the past few months, a major highlight and I suppose milestone for us on our parenting journey, is that Eleanor got her own room! While my Dad was here mission building, one of his projects was our house renovations. We cut through a wall into the flat next door to us, and we have turned that room into our living room and our old living room into Eleanor’s room. It’s life-changing. I’m being dramatic, but oh my goodness…it’s good! We are so, so grateful. Eleanor loves her little room, and we are really enjoying all the extra room to stretch out and host more friends as well.


Since moving into her own room, Eleanor is sleeping really well at night. She normally goes to bed by 7, and she’ll wake up sometime between 6-7am. Just this past week, Eleanor and I finished our breastfeeding journey. I was really feeling sad and sentimental to choose to stop, but Eleanor decided for us. I was only feeding her when she woke up first thing in the morning, and she normally would ask for it pretty quickly. Then one day, she decided her toys seemed more fun and hasn’t looked back since. It’s so strange to have that part of our journey finish, and if I think about it too long, I feel a little sad. However, I also feel so thankful to have been able to breastfeed her for as long as I did. I loved our journey together. Now I find myself smothering her in kisses and hugs pretty much all day long. EDIT: Our breastfeeding journey resumed a few days after I initially wrote this because she got sick, and I was desperate to comfort her. She ended up having a middle ear infection – her first one – and I was so grateful that I still had milk to give her. We will see where we end up this time around…

Eleanor is saying a lot more words and “talking” all the time. She loves to sing you a song – one of our favourite things she does. She says mumma, dadda, papaw (still working on Grammy!), Sai (friend), Ollie (friend), Lilly (friend), ball, bubble, baby, wow, dog, and hi/bye. She also knows where her head, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, teeth, belly and toes are. She knows what sounds come from lions, dogs, cats, pigs (the best!), cows and monkeys. She shakes and nods her head for no and yes, and she signs “more” and “all done”. She has been such a sponge, observing and learning new things daily.


Exploring parks and new places has been a real highlight since she started walking. She has so much fun climbing and goes down slides quite bravely! Her walking skill has allowed me to dress her in skirts and dresses again, and I am loving it. Her hair has also gotten long enough to be put into a little ponytail on top of her head or two tiny pigtails. I am LOVING all the girliness!

She is still quite small for her age, but anyone who knows her knows how much this girl loves her food. She’s riding steadily on the 3rd percentile for height and weight, but she’s thriving as far as her health is concerned.

She got given swim lessons for Christmas last year, and she started that in July right after we returned from the States. She has picked things up quite quickly with swim, and I see how beneficial it is, especially living in Australia with all the beaches. We are now on her second term, after loving the first. I think it will prepare her for a really great summer!!



  • Food! Especially fruits, popsicles, pasta, burgers, eggs, crackers, yogurt, water, vegemite and pickles.
  • Parks and playgrounds
  • DOGS! Most animals actually.
  • Playing pretend with her picnic set and her baby dolls
  • Other little babies, especially the two youngest on base, Zane and Owen
  • Balls
  • Bubbles
  • Bouncing or being tossed up high
  • Scooting (15-month-old scooting prodigy!)
  • Music and dancing
  • Swimming
  • Her little friends!
  • Being chased
  • Books!!!
  • Blowing kisses
  • Filters on snapchat :)
  • Finding little steps or stoops to sit on
  • Shoes – your shoes or her shoes, the girl already LOVES shoes haha


  • Vegetables and most meats…sigh
  • Getting her nose/face wiped
  • When Mum goes anywhere without her (separation anxiety to the max!)
  • Waking up


How Am I Doing?

I’ve been doing pretty well. Like I mentioned above, the house renovations have seriously changed things. It’s so nice to have Eleanor in her own room and to have more space to spread out and have more people over. I am still praying through what it looks like to be a missionary as a mum – probably something I will continue to pray about always as seasons change. I am learning so much, though, and I am enjoying the process.

I am loving this stage Eleanor is in right now. She’s so much fun. Not to say we don’t have hard days. We definitely do. She’s yet to become a stellar napper so when her pretty average or below average nap isn’t so great one day, it seriously affects the rest of my day. She’s sleeping so well at night, though, now, so I try to remember that. It’s so nice to get a good rest each night now. I’ve continued working out, and I am loving it. We are still working through allergy stuff with me, and I am hoping to get some clarity pretty soon with that. I realised about a month ago how much it affected my day-to-day. Even though Eleanor was sleeping through and I was exercising, I was still so exhausted mostly because my allergies were all day, every day. Hopefully we’ll see some breakthrough with that soon.

Other than that I am doing well. I am really wanting to get a fresh vision for writing and for the blog, but like I said above, I don’t want to put a time pressure on myself that is unrealistic. So stay tuned :)

UPDATE: I wrote this last week, and because I hadn’t added the pictures, I didn’t publish. In the meantime, we had our Annual Retreat with 220 people, Eleanor was sick, our hot water wasn’t working, Eleanor had her first middle ear infection, I got the flu…I mean, it’s been a bit of a rough week around here. Eleanor has seemed back to normal since yesterday, and I was so grateful to have so much help because the Dr said basically all I could do was take ibuprofen and rest. Any mum of a toddler knows that is pretty impossible, so I was thankful to have some friends to call on. I am getting better, but my ears and throat issues are still lingering. I can’t wait for next week and sunshine and working out and smiles – that’s how it works right?? Haha! Thanks for reading!

A Journey Over A Year: Eleanor & her Elephant

When I was pregnant with Eleanor, I spent a fair amount of time on Pinterest adding to my boards all things “baby”. One thing I saw pop up on Pinterest, as well as through different friends, was the idea of taking the same photo each month to document Eleanor’s growth. I saw so many ways of doing it, and I felt inspired to find our own creative little way.

Enter cute, mint green elephant! (Thanks Swinney, Tina and Kelcie!)

I took 12 photos of her first 12 months, each with her beside the elephant. It’s so crazy to see the difference as she grew. You can tell when she starts to get mobile because she’s no longer happy to be sitting still with her elephant! It was much harder at that point, all the way to the last photo, which has food in it to keep her sitting still.

Moving forward, I don’t know how much of all of this I will do with subsequent children, but I do know that I really enjoyed these monthly photos and hope to at least do this.

Eleanor Hazel


Life Lately

Do you ever feel like you have so many areas in your life that need your attention? Almost the minute you give attention to one, you start thinking about the next until suddenly it all just feels like too much? How could I possibly get anything done, let alone everything?

I’ve been feeling that way this week, and I think part of it is that the week is going so differently than I anticipated. Last week, Robbie was away in Townsville, and I taught for the whole week on our School of Innovative Youth Ministry (SOIYM). We also had Eleanor’s first swim lesson and her 1-year dr checkup, which included her 1-year vaccinations. To top it all off, Eleanor was still dealing with disrupted sleep from our travels and getting her top two teeth and showing a bit of interest in dropping to one nap. It was a lot in one week to say the least.

I loved teaching, and I am SO grateful for the opportunity and glad I did it. However, on Friday when I finished and went to get Eleanor, I felt like I could take a deep breath. My friend Debi put it so perfectly – “These are the weeks that give you so, so much life BUT are also the most life draining at the same time.” SO TRUE!

Robbie came home on Sunday, and when I woke up Sunday morning, I wasn’t met with the excitement of my husband returning but rather a lovely cold. Then Robbie’s flight was delayed, and he didn’t end up arriving until around 8pm. Eleanor was already in bed, and he had to wait until the next morning to see her new skill – SHE’S WALKING!!!

On Monday night, Eleanor threw up. Then three more times on Tuesday, and right as she got better, my sinus congestion made it’s way to my throat and left me with a nagging cough that is only now starting to settle down.

I don’t write all this to complain because even in the midst of the hard parts, there have been many more wonderful ones. I am more writing to process where things are at. I am trying to get Eleanor back on track with sleeping, so I am reading new things pertaining to her age, as well as rereading old stuff I read the first time we worked with her on sleep. We are also doing renovations on our house soon to add a second bedroom for Eleanor (!!!), so I am thinking through all of that – furniture, paint, selling and buying, NBN boxes and more. I am also really wanting to work on our eating and planning food prep and meal times more as we’ve gotten back. To say we had a lot of sugar while on our trip home would be a MASSIVE understatement. I am thinking about our budget, and going on dates with Robbie, and hanging out with my girl friends, and exercising more regularly, and figuring out my role on base, and fundraising for upcoming things. SO many things to think through.

When Eleanor naps, I generally do one of three things. One – if she’s been sleeping particularly terribly or I am not feeling well, I nap too. Two – rush around the house cleaning and tidying things so I don’t have to do it while she’s awake. Three – work on other things (ministry, budget/finances, blog, etc.). What I don’t always do and what I desperately need to do more is to just stop and sit. To pray or listen to worship music. To write. To read a good book. Two of my three options are go, go, go, and the third is rarely used anymore.

I used to write so much more. I journaled nearly every day, and I blogged regularly. It was such an outlet for me. It hasn’t happened as much in the last couple years, and I really want it to change. Evaluating the why is helping me get back to that.

So hopefully you will hear more from me. I don’t have the monthly elephant photos and updates of Eleanor to keep me going, even though I do still plan to write about her and post photos. I want to write more, and I think I actually need it, too.

I’ll finish with that and leave you with a bunch of photos of the past couple weeks. :)


^Ok I don’t know what it is about this photo, but smiley face with heart eyes times a million. I think it’s her sweet little lips and great big eyes, and she’s 1 you guys!


^Second 1st Birthday Party cake…I liked the other one better :)


^My friend Sai made these cookies, and I think I could have eaten a dozen by myself. SO good!


^The theme of Eleanor’s second 1st birthday party was POLKA DOTS! Robbie quickly told me it should be “spheres” because I wasn’t just doing polka dots. I say, “Potatooo, Potaaaato”.


^The Elephant Photos! I am going to post a separate post just with these 12. I love looking at them side by side.



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^It was so special that Papaw could be here for both parties, and I just love this little photo.


^Not afraid of the see-through floor box…


^Alright so my sister made this book for Eleanor’s birthday back in the States. Total surprise to me. It may look like another photo book, but it is SO much more than that. It contains my entire blog from the beginning when we first chatted all about getting pregnant to the ultrasounds, her birth story, monthly updates, and more. I started tearing up in the moment and had to move on to the next present with Eleanor. It’s so special, and I am very grateful for all the time she spent putting this together. Thank you, Lis!!!


^Eleanor has started swim lessons (Thanks Aunt Deborah and Uncle Givenski!), and although her first lesson was a bit rough (hello crying through 85%), her second was great. It still included lots of cuddles with mumma along the way, though! Eleanor’s instructor, Mags, is next to me in the photo.


^Listening to instructions and Eleanor holding on to the edge like a champ.


^”Here Dad! Do you want some water on your head, too?”


^Eleanor and Daddy played in the little play space at the gym/pool while I got changed and put all our wet stuff away. She thought these little holes were pretty much the coolest thing ever. She climbed in and out of them a million times.


^Robbie shared at our first Public Meeting of the year! ::heart eyes::


^Eleanor hugging her baby doll from Aunt Kristie. She has a love-hate relationship with this baby doll – hugging one second and banging her head against the ground the next. We’ll work on it… ;)

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^The morning after Daddy came home. Eleanor was so happy to see him…but definitely not as much as I was!

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^Doing the fish face again! I am SO happy that she remembered how to do this from months ago.

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^Checking out a new park. She actually wasn’t that interested in the park as much as she was by the dogs the kept walking by. She started walking this past week, and it’s so cool to explore the world with her in a new way now!