Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas break

Hey, everybody.

This blog is taking a break for the holidays. Eleanor and I are off to Texas tomorrow, and will be joined there by my husband on the 23rd.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I'll be back some time after that with a ton o' fun pictures, I'm sure!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Old Macdonald

And today is a double post day, so be sure and check below to see how I ruined someone's kid's Christmas.

How I ruined Christmas for someone else's kid

I feel absolutely horrible! I totally ruined some kid's Christmas this morning. Here's what happened...

This morning, I took Eleanor out for yet another Breakfast with Santa- our third in a row. They're very popular around here, and Eleanor seems to really enjoy herself. Anyway, she sits with Santa (whom I suspected was my neighbor Randy), takes a picture, yada-yada-yada...

We get to the breakfast portion of the Breakfast with Santa. There's a man sitting right down the table from us with his two sons. The boys are about 4 and 8. I say to the man, "Do you know who Santa is?" He sort of ignores me/brushes me off, and I say, "DO YOU KNOW WHO SANTA IS?" Then, it hit me. DOH! The poor guy just sort of shakes his head. The 8-year-old demands, "What does she mean, Daddy? Why did she ask you who Santa is?" So, much the same way a substitute fourth-grade teacher ruined my Christmas 17 years ago, I killed the dream for that poor little dude.

I absolutely feel lower than dirt. In 20 years, that kid is going to be telling his wife all about how some moronic lady at the Breakfast with Santa ruined his Christmas. Sigh.

And here is the ultra-lame picture of a picture from this morning. I really wanted to show you Eleanor's adorable dress (a gift from my friend Ashley) and she refused to let me take a picture of her once we got home. And see the big guy in the red suit? That may or may not be my neighbor Randy.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Here's to you...friendly balloon man

This morning, Laura and I loaded up our kiddos and headed out to see Big Bird and the gang in a Sesame Street Live performance. It was awesome! Jordan was crazy about all of the characters, and would yell out their names when they came onto the stage. When they would leave, she would sweetly ask for them to come back. So precious! Eleanor was very into the dancing and clapping aspects of the show. Even Cyrus, who is only six months old, got into the singing and dancing frenzy at one point. Eleanor also enjoyed waving her little baby hand wildly to the characters, even though we were about halfway to the nosebleed section. My favorite part of watching her watch the show was when Elmo would come out and she would yell, "El-bo!"

At intermission, we headed down the the floor to purchase an Elmo balloon from the nice, little balloon man. By the time we got through the line and up to the man, Eleanor was saying, "El-bo boon! El-bo boon!" Well, then the nice, little balloon man (I just don't know what else to call the guy that sells balloons) said, "That will be eight dollars." Eight bucks?! For a balloon??! We exchanged some friendly banter about what a ridiculous price that was and such, and then I forked over the eight bucks. Have you seen my kid's face? She was staring at the El-bo boons with those big, brown eyes and a huge grin across her face. You would have bought her the eight dollar balloon too.

Anyway, so Big Bird comes on with an announcement that if you bought a balloon, you need to kindly put it under your seat so that "all our friends can enjoy the show." So, I very responsibly obey the rules and shove the eight dollar balloon under my seat. For the entire second half of the show, I was gripping Elmo's head with my heels like I was on Wrestle-Mania and he was my arch rival. The end of the show comes... I get up, fold up my seat, and Elmo floats away. Insert expletive here. Eleanor immediately makes her way up to the family behind us and asks them to adopt her because her mommy is a total dufus, and they still have their El-bo boon.

On the way out, Laura convinces me to tell the balloon man what happened, and see what he does. So what did he do? Did he say, "Sorry, Charlie. Next time, don't be a moron"? No. He gave me another balloon! I love you, Mr. Balloon Man. Almost the entire way home in the car, Eleanor sang, "El-bo, El-bo, El-bo" as she stared lovingly at her giant balloon. She briefly fell asleep, but I bet you can guess what the first thing she said when she woke up was.

I didn't take my camera to the show, but here are a couple of pictures of Eleanor playing in her brand new Zoe tutu!

This is the way she looks at her Elmo balloon. I think she's in love.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

How I know she's ours

I was originally going to make the title of this post "She is her daddy's daughter," but then I realized how much the story I'm going to tell really sounds like...well, okay....ME. Well, it sounds like both of us, thus "...she's OURS."

We had just finished reading "Tubby Time with Little Ernie" for the fourth time in two minutes. Eleanor said, "Ah-done," and immediately followed with a "Peeee" and a tummy rub, which unmistakably means "read the book again, please." Well, I didn't want to. There are only about 12 words in the whole book and I was tired of the lameness of a story without a plot.

So, I said, "No, Eleanor, we're not going to read this again. Let's do something else." She kept up the "Peeee" and tummy rubs until she knocked the book off the couch. She obviously wanted me to pick it up. I didn't want to. So, I grabbed another book. She began her tantrum. The screaming stopped once I opened the new book, "Happy Baby Colors." I thought she had become distracted and would be pleased to read the new book.

Most of the time when we read this book, she yells out the names of the colors she can say when we come to those pages, so that is what I expected her to do. It didn't happen quite that way. When we came to the page where she usually yells out "Weh-woooow", I looked at her with anticipation. She looked back at me with something that could not be described as anything other than utter contempt, shook her head defiantly from side to side and said, "No." She did the same for the next few colors.

Then we came to purple. I thought there was no way she would be able to resist purple. She loves that word. I looked at her. She looked at me. Her lips came together perfectly as if in preparation for the sound "puh"...she looked me dead in the eye, shook that curly little head, and said as plain as day, "No, Mama."

And so goes toddlerhood.

Here's a picture I took of us a few days ago. She looks mad, but she's just very intent on doing that thing where you strum your lip with your hand. It was very important to her at that moment.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Becoming a walking pro...

...or something like that.

Also, here is Eleanor practicing her letter sounds. We have to skip the ones she doesn't know how to do because she becomes very agitated at the not-knowing. Now, that sounds like TWO people I know. Uh-hum. She sometimes mixes up m and n, and you have to have the volume turned way up to hear some of the sounds. She has really gotten the hang of the y sound in the past couple of days, and it's my new favorite.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

A Christmas photo essay

Starring: Eleanor Macy Hudson
Wardrobe provided by: Wendy

Eleanor: "You want me to do what with this stupid stocking? Forget this, I'm going to get a book."

Mommy: "Eleanor, would you please look at Mommy and smile?"
Eleanor: "Can't you see I'm busy?"

Mommy: "Come on, Eleanor. Just one picture. Please look at Mommy."
Eleanor: "Fine. How's this?"

Mommy: "Mommy just wants one picture of you in your beautiful Christmas dress that our blogger friend Wendy sent with the tags still on."
Eleanor: "Put that darn camera down, and READ THIS BOOK TO ME!!!!"

Eleanor: "Fine, Mommy. I will sit and act like I'm playing with this stupid toy, but I will NOT look at you OR smile! There, can I have my book back now?"

Friday, December 7, 2007

Breakfast with Santa

Last Saturday, my sister and I took the girls to have breakfast with Santa in Middleburg, VA (which we found to be the cutest little town EVER!) The girls were having so much fun during the breakfast portion of the event that we were hopeful about the pics with Santa. Well, the line was a little too long, especially for Eleanor who kept doing nosedives out of my arms while trying to touch anything and everything that looked the least bit interesting or dangerous. Chloe was great in line, but was not at all interested in sitting on the lap of a fat, bearded (and very rude) man in a fuzzy red suit. Who can blame her?

So, here's what we got of Eleanor with the big guy. The photographer that was there also got a picture, but it was way too deer-in-the-headlights for me. At least in this one she looks happy about the sucker he was offering. That grouchy Santa wouldn't make an effort to hold my precious niece because she was a little fussy, and even made some rude comment about the girls' age. Some jolly old elf!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

First snow! (well, this winter anyway)

So, today we woke up to huge, beautiful snowflakes falling silently to the ground. We were so excited, and couldn't wait to get the girls outside for a snowy picture-taking frenzy! This was Chloe's first snow, and Eleanor's second, but her first as a big girl and first at the new house. We only kept them out for a minute, but managed to get a few cute shots.

Also, I just have to mention that Eleanor's spiffy new pink and brown coat was the deal of the century! I got it last night at H&M for 12 dollars and 45 cents. And, of course, I think she looks totally adorable in it!

AND I thought it would be really funny to cram Eleanor into last year's snowsuit (which I was so right about) and do a little reenactment from her first official snow. I think the new one looks like she was writing the words with her little, frozen finger. This is for you, Daddy.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

More reading fun

So, what I'm finding out is that Eleanor can read some words that she cannot say. I had a hunch she could pick out color words even though she can really only say "purple" and something that sounds sort of like "yellow." (Click here if you haven't seen Eleanor's first reading video, and have no idea what I'm talking about.)

I keep having to cut my videos down to keep them under the 100 MB limit since my video camera records in HD and the files are huge. I accidentally cut off the beginning of this one where I asked her to find "blue." There was also a cute ending involving clapping and cheering, but that had to go too.

And here's a picture that I LOVE of her enjoying her sweet new freedom. I think I'll be very sad when she learns to walk without her arms flailing about.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Eleanor is 15 months old!

Well, somehow amongst our other big announcements (which you can find here and here), I forgot to mention that Eleanor turned 15 months. Here are some things she's up to (as if you don't already know):
  • Making letter sounds. She's up to 13 now, and likes to point them out EVERYWHERE- books, magazines, newspapers, the sides of trucks in traffic, etc.
  • Reading some words. Not sure how this happened, and I'm still investigating the extent of her reading ability.
  • Saying new words every day. I tried counting the words in her vocabulary, and I think it's somewhere just over 50 or so. She has even put some words into "sentences." Her first "sentence" was, 'Mama apple.' And her third was, 'Ba-bo all done.' ("Ba-bo" means video, but was not included as a real word in the word count.)
  • Pretending to eat her food when she's at the table so that I will leave her alone about it. I would video it as it's quite hilarious, but I'm trying not to encourage it. :)
  • Making anyone who looks like they can read open her books and read them to her. She knows how to sign "please", and does it when she hands you the book. Who could possibly resist that??

I guess that about sums it up. It's been a busy month, and we have loved every second of having our company here to enjoy new milestones with us! We won't know what to do when they leave next week!! :(