Monday, March 31, 2008

How did this happen??!

Friday, March 28, 2008

What I discovered today...

So, I ordered these word magnets for Eleanor online. They arrived today, and I put them on the fridge. I quickly discovered that I could ask Eleanor to find any of the words and she could do it without hesitation. There are 140 words, I asked her plenty, and she never missed one. She was identifying words that I'm almost certain she's never seen or at least not seen regularly...dream, teacher, music, etc. I knew she could read more words than I can count. I was just surprised that she could pick out so many words that I can't even remember exposing her to.

We do "shared reading" quite a bit with library books, where I start reading the sentence then let her finish reading it. I usually jump in when we come to a word I think she won't be able to read, but she showed me today that she can read way more words than I thought she could! It was unbelievable! I'm no longer buying my own photographic memory theory. I think it's more than that...

I've been doing lots of research lately about babies' brains and such. I've read plenty of books and websites, and I still just don't know what to think. I'm not sure why I keep looking for an explanation when I know God is absolutely capable of giving her this gift just because He chose to.

This little video clip doesn't really do justice to what I saw today, but it's all I could get. She was tired of this game and wanted to go outside by the time I got the video camera out.

Eleanor is 19 months old!

Here's what she's up to:

Reading nonfiction children's books on topics like the moon or how bees make honey. Seriously. She doesn't want to read anything that's not related to science. She has now added to her reading vocabulary words like lava, volcanoes, Earth, full moon, half moon, roots, seeds, honey, and wax. I'm pretty sure she's going to be smarter than me in like six weeks.

Eating a much wider variety of foods. Thank goodness!! We discovered that if we give her what we're eating and a fork, she'll eat almost anything. Who knew a utensil could make such a difference?!

Talking like crazy. Here are a few of my favorite Eleanor sayings.

  • She's really into looking for things. So, she stills says, "_______, ah you?" all the time. And it's now followed by, "Tet-is!" (There it is!)

  • When I ask her if she wants something, she says, "No!......Otay." She also says "otay" when she's getting ready to do something, like read a book.

  • When she wants a kiss- "Piss, pease." And when she's eating corn- "" Hilarious.

  • "Daddy, ah you? Daddy WORT!" (work) and "Mimi, ah you? Mimi Tet-sas." (Texas)

  • She has the sweetest little "thank you" ever and uses it at all the right when someone gives her something or at the store when we check-out or when someone pays her a compliment. She even thanks me for washing her bottom in the bathtub.

  • "Help, pease."

  • "Ho high!" (so high)

  • "I sit down." Then, after she sits, "Otay!!"

  • "Weed books!" (read books)

  • "Words, pease" when she wants to look at flashcards.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Getting a little bit crafty

So, today I had this random idea that turned into a successful twenty-minute project, and I just thought I'd share.

I was getting ready to organize Eleanor's toys (again!) when I realized I would probably need another container to put some things in. Being the thrifty stay-at-home mom that I am, I saw my easy (and free) solution in the form of a huge Costco diaper box. I randomly glued different-sized pieces of scrapbook paper all over it. Then, I used a piece of extra ribbon I found in my craft box and made a bow.

Voila! A box for all of Eleanor's dress-up items. Tomorrow I'm going to turn the wipes box into a box for Eleanor's board books, as her bookshelf is currently overflowing. And the next day I'm going to design brand new kitchen cabinets from empty cases of green beans and corn. (On second thought, maybe I'll hold off on that one for a bit.)

And here's my little ballerina trying to put her tutu on all by herself. "IIII DO, MOMMY!"

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

"He is not here; he has risen, just as he said..."

Matthew 28:6

Hallelujah! Praise God for all His goodness!!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Leesburg Animal Park

Yesterday afternoon, I took Eleanor to Leesburg Animal Park, which is sort of a petting zoo, but with some exotic animals too. They have the regular stuff- sheep, goats, chickens, llamas- but they also have zebras, monkeys, a camel, and some others. Obviously, not all of the animals are available for petting, but they are all set up in a way that allows kiddos to get up close and personal with them.

Eleanor L-O-V-E-D it!! I can't even really describe how excited she was, but we were there for over two hours, and she could have stayed longer- probably forever! I bought a season pass for us, so I'm sure we'll be heading over there (it's just ten minutes from our house!) many, many times this spring and summer.

I also bought a refillable food cup, but I'm not sure I'll be getting the food next time...let's just say the animals get a tad agressive when you're holding that stuff. There was one big animal (that I didn't catch the name of) that nibbled my hand because I wasn't giving him food fast enough and tried to eat Eleanor's bow several times.

Here are some pictures of Miss Priss being one with nature...


"Seep. BAAAAAAAAA!" Apparently, this sheep needed a hug and kiss.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Easter Egg Hunt

Okay, let me just start by saying that hunting Easter eggs with a coat on is just wrong. I had the most adorable little Spring outfit picked out for today's big event, but was it warm enough for that? No. Of course not.

Here's the play-by-play recap of Eleanor's very first Easter Egg Hunt.

"On your mark. Get set. Go!!!"
"Okay, Mommy. I got my egg." She literally thought she was finished once she found an egg. She just smiled and watched the other kids running around like crazy, and was definitely not at all interested in putting the egg in her Easter bag.
I finally convinced her to get one more egg.
She then spent the next ten minutes putting her eggs on the ground, picking them back up, and shouting, "YAY! I DID IT!" There was a craft area where I made Eleanor some bunny ears, which she was thrilled about.
And there was an Easter Bunny. I didn't really attempt to get Eleanor to sit in his lap alone. I'm certain it wouldn't have gone well. But she was very interested in giving the Easter Bunny "bize." (Also known as five.)

I was going to post a video clip of Eleanor's very first Easter Egg Hunt, but the camera person (ah-hem...MIMI) got some great footage of the grass...and that's all. In her defense, she only got a 30-second instructional session on using the video camera before the "hunting" began. We'll get it next time.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Guess who's here.

It's MIMI!!! I have now taken a third place role in my own house...Mimi swooped right in and claimed the position of numero uno. Eleanor wakes up saying, "Mimi...ah you??" So cute. We're having a lot of fun. The weather was nice enough this weekend for us to get out some. On Saturday, we all went geocaching and found two geocaches. We also went to the park.

Our sleeping seems to have found its way back to normal. It took one night of me ignoring Miss Priss's requests to have some company in the middle of the night. It was hard, but I think it was necessary, and at least for now it worked.

Friday, March 14, 2008

18-month sleep regression

Did anyone else experience this little phenomenon with their own bundle of joy?? I need advice...I'm sick of being up at 3AM, and I'm sick of sleeping with a wiggle worm who kicks, scratches, and rolls all over me. (We're not co-sleepers, but I've found that's the only way to get her to go back to sleep.)


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Op-sits and other funny stuff

Thanks, everyone, for your well wishes. We're feeling better, and both got a full night's rest last night...gotta love antibiotics.

So, Eleanor's new favorite game is Opposites. She'll come up to me and say, "Op-sits!" and then we do this...

She knows a few more that I forgot while we were making the video. My favorite is wet/dry. I think I just like the way she says the word wet...most of the time as she pours a little bit of her drink on her head while we're eating. Anything for a laugh with that girl.

And a couple more funny things I want to put in writing before I forget...

Whenever she sees pizza or a picture of pizza or anything that looks like it might be pizza, she says, "Zee-za! Mmmmm....dood!"

Tonight during her bath when I started to wash her ears (which she hates!), she said, "NO! Don't do dat!!" I'm sure laughing hysterically was the wrong response, but I really couldn't help myself. I'm sure the funny will wear off that one pretty quick!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


So, we're feeling pretty crummy around here. Eleanor is teething (molars, no less), has a cold, and as of this morning officially has an ear infection. I have a cold that I think has turned into a sinus infection because every time I blow my nose, I feel like my face is on fire, and am somewhat sleep deprived. The sleep deprivation is sure to get better now that we have the medicine for Little Missy's ear. I just wanna feel better and GET OUT OF THE HOUSE (to go somewhere besides the doctor's office or the pharmacy.)

Here's a funny picture of Eleanor that pretty much sums up how we feel. Well, it's a little on the dramatic side, but you get the idea. Oh, and she's in jammies because I didn't have the energy to dress her for four days. She wore pajamas for four days straight!...not the sames ones...I changed her from the dirty jammies to clean jammies every night after her bath, which I only gave her because her face and hands were covered in crusty snot. Okay, now I'm just rambling...I gotta get out of the house.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another reading baby

A couple of weeks ago, some of our family and friends e-mailed me a news story about a 17-month-old in Lubbock that could read. The story really could have been about Eleanor...they sounded just alike.

Well, today they were on the Today Show...

That mom said so many things that I've been saying she was afraid her baby was autistic...and that she didn't mean to teach her baby to read.

We're sort of in contact with that family via the reporter that did the original story on them. Very interesting!

Oh, and thanks to Lisa who has a five day old baby (and a busy toddler!) and still called me this morning to tell me about the Today Show baby!! That girl is one awesome Momma!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

More of my baby reading

I'm really sorry if I'm being annoying and obnoxious about this, but I'm just more amazed each day with the whole thing.

When Eleanor first learned to talk, I remember counting 10 words, then 25 words, then 60 words, and then she just really took off within a couple of months. The same thing is happening with reading. I can't even count how many words she can read now. I know it's over 100, and she surprises me with new ones everyday.

So, here's another video of her reading. I had to bribe her with milk, and was still surprised that she sat still long enough to read 40 words. (For Parts 1 and 2 of reading videos click here and here.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


So, I can't get her to say it on command, but it's still very cute...Oh, and sorry about the camera work...she insists on sitting in my lap while we make a "bideo."

Other things that make us smile...
  • For as long as I can remember, I've sung the same little song as I wrap Eleanor in her towel after her bath..."Ba-by bur-rit-o! Ba-by bur-rit-o!" Now, when she gets out of the tub, she starts singing, "Baby br-ribo!" in the exact made-up tune that I've always done.
  • She's very into science-y books. And as a former teacher, I have quite a few. She's particulary interested in one that explains how strawberry plants grow. She loves to point out the "roots", "seeds", and "flowees." She also loves this book called "My Senses", and when she wants to read it she says, "Sen-ses! Sen-ses!" I think her favorite parts are "smelling" the flower and "tasting" the ice cream cone.
  • She has a lovey. It's a dog, and his name is "PUPPY!" (The creativity comes later, right?) The other day, I took her to Barnes & Noble where they apparently sell these dogs. She quickly took notice, and ran to collect all of the "puppies" from the shelf. I so wish I had a picture of her carrying that armload of dogs around the store. All you could see was this huge mound of stuffed dogs with two little legs poking out. Anytime another kid (or even an adult!) would dare pick one up off the floor, she would run over to them and politely say, "Puppy pease," as she held out her hand. She would just repeat herself and continue standing there until they handed it over.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Daddy's girl

So, for the first 17 months of her life, I think anyone could have accurately described Eleanor as a Mama's girl. Oh, how things have changed. Little Missy has decided that her daddy is the coolest person in the universe, and that she must do her best to be his shadow whenever he is home. She follows him around like a little puppy and copies everything he does. These days life for that little girl doesn't get any better than sitting on Daddy's lap or riding on his shoulders.

This week, he had to go out of town for a couple of days, and she was so not happy about it. I had to take over Daddy's nighttime duties and put her to bed. The first night, she cried when I put her in her bed. It was just a little bit, but she never cries at bedtime. Never. The second night when I said it was night-night time, she ran down the hall shouting, "Daddy...AH YOU????" It was heart-breakingly sad.

So, here are a few pics of my two favorite people messin' around today after naptime.