Monday, April 28, 2008

Eleanor is 20 months old!

Oh, where do I begin this month?? I think I'll start with these adorable Eleanor sayings...

  • "HI, pun-pie!" (Her version of "Hi, punkin' pie," which her Daddy says to her all the time.)

  • "Weddy...doh!" (Ready? Go!)

  • "Almose..." (Almost.) Like, "Eleanor, are you all done?" "Nooo. Almose."

  • "Turn it, turn it...der!" When she's trying to put her puzzle pieces in.

  • "Mo sinding, pease, Mommy!" (More singing, please, Mommy.) Yes, yes...words I thought I'd never hear from anyone...ever.

  • "Signing tines, pease!" ("Signing Time") Her current favorite video. She also loves being quizzed on all the signs from the video. She knows so many now!

  • "Sapes! Kir-kle. Spare. Ti-andle. Wet-andle. Oval." That's how she names her shapes. Oval is definitely still her favorite, but I think "kirkle" is a very close second.

  • "...Ten. Weben. Belve. Tit-teen. Tit-teen. Tit-teen. Tit-teen..." She just kept counting one day when she got to ten, but apparently all those teen numbers sound the same to her! I've got to get this counting thing on video because her inflections are hilarious.

  • "Tip toe!" She walks all over the house on her tip toes. Where do they learn these things?
  • "Uh-oh! Happen?" (Uh-oh, what happened?)

And (to put it nicely), Eleanor is exercising her independence more than ever. (Read- balled fists, red face, flowing tears and time-outs-a-plenty)

Wanting to be outside every second of every day, even if it's raining. (Well, I think she's finally starting to get the raining thing because now she'll stand by the door, looking out saying, "ITS waaaaaan-ing!")

She's also really into reading the Bible. She'll sit down with my Bible, thumb through it, and babble like she's reading it. Occasionally, she'll throw in a "JESUS!" She also enjoys reading the storybook Bible that she got from Robin for her first birthday. There seems to be a tad bit of confusion though...she thinks God made Abraham "hummus" (instead of a promise.) We'll clear that up at some point.

And because I didn't take any photos in the past couple of days, you get yet another photo in the patchwork dress (that, by the way, cost ONE DOLLAR at a consignment sale!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Manager's choice

If I posted about us right now, it might sound like whining, so I won't. Instead, I'm going to post recent random pictures that just hadn't yet made it to the blog.

We were pleasantly surprised to find that the people who had this house before us had planted a lot of tulips. We weren't here last Spring, so we didn't know what to expect. Thank you, Bailey family. Side note: I don't actually know the Bailey family. This is a pretty small town, though, and whenever we meet new people, they say, "Oh, you live in the Bailey's house!" Apparently, it's the 'Bailey's house' until we've lived here more than thirty years.

Isn't this picture weird?! It just looked like tricky Photoshopping or anything!

Pictures of Miss Priss enjoying the Springtime weather.

And a picture of me and Eleanor, so that my mom doesn't forget what I look like. It's been way too long since we've seen most of our family!

Monday, April 21, 2008


Click here to see some photos I took yesterday of the cutest little triplets EVER! Such a great family!!

And click here to see photos of a beautiful pregnant mommy and her family that I took last weekend!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Best friends indeed

Eleanor has finally worked her little way into the heart of Alex the cat. He hasn't admitted that he likes her yet, but I have personally witnessed him lying down and rolling on his side when she approaches him, arms out, shouting, "Akseks...HUG! HUG!" He also gets lots of kisses, right on the mouth...apparently, she hasn't seen him licking his...oh, nevermind. She's gotten very good at the whole gentle petting thing, and thinks it's hilarious to show me all of his body parts..."Whit-sters, Mommy."

She's very into animals since we've been visiting the animal park every week. When we're driving in the car, and she sees cows out the window, she says, "AN-MALS...SEE...I SEE?" I'm pretty sure she'd live in the chicken coop at the animal park if I'd let her. She might be a little reluctant about spending extra time with the sheep, though. One of those guys accidentally pushed her down the other day when she was trying to give it a hug. Broke her heart. Real tears and everything.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The aforementioned singing

So, I finally caught some of Eleanor's singing on video. She didn't do my favorite part of the Elmo song this time (the part about the "bold-fitch"), but it's still totally adorable. Also, the "up aboo...ho high!" part of "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" goes on indefinitely...I cut the video off after three times.

She also has a couple of new songs that I'm sure I'll make you watch some other time. This singing thing is the best!!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Spin, spider, spin

I really appreciate everyone's kind comments on my last reading post. I'm really not one to get all emotional on my blog, but I couldn't stand the thought of anyone thinking I was that mom, who pushes and pushes her kid, and then can't stop bragging about what they can do. You guys are the best!

As a teacher, I found such joy in hearing a student read a book for the first time, and seeing their little face light up at realizing what they had done. With Eleanor, that joy is multiplied by like a thousand. Hearing her read just melts my heart.

And, I seem to be having some sort of blogging marathon, so be sure and scroll down for other new stuff!


Since Eleanor's birth, I have used the phrase "extremely cautious" to describe her no less than six hundred times. For example, at the Animal Park, she refuses to go into the sandbox. She will stand right at the edge of the less-than-three-inch step, and say, "Help, pease," until I go over and let her hold my hand, so that she can step down. If I don't go over, she'll say, "Help, pease," ten more times, then will run off and find something else to do.

So, my question is...who is this kid scaling up the old, rickety, wobbly ladder... get to the top of the wobbly, rusty slide...
...and peek at me over the side, yelling, "Ana-nor...ho high!!!" (so high)
She even went down the slide...alone. What?!

She then got off the slide, went back to the sandbox, and stood on the side yelling, "Help, pease!"


The birds and the bee

Oh, come on...that was funny, right?

Graffiti = fun

Yesterday, in addition to prancing around the yard in a "baby-bug" costume, I let Eleanor get all artsy on the driveway with sidewalk chalk (which was in the dollar bin at Target!) It was the first time we'd done it, and she LOVED it! She did so well, and only tried to eat the chalk once. She kept saying, "Tolor...chok!" and "I daw" (draw). She even woke up this morning saying, "Doh outside...chok!"

From a Mommy standpoint, the drawing was a great activity because it kept her in one area. We're usually running all over the yard. Eleanor now knows the way to the park, which I thought was really cute and clever...the first time. Now, every time we're outside, she says, "Part! Part!" and heads straight for it. But, with the sidewalk chalk, she doesn't want to leave the driveway...well, not until she hears kids playing at the park anyway.

I also need to add this story from this morning because it was hilarious and priceless and just so darn cute.

So, Eleanor was playing on the screened porch with her Cozy know, the plastic car that they get in and "drive" Fred Flinstone style. All of a sudden, she gets out of the car, runs out of the porch, and comes back with a handful of grass. I say, "Eleanor, what in the world are you doing?" She takes the fistful of grass over to the car, opens the little plastic gas tank door, and tries to shove the grass in saying, "Gas...gas...gas."

Seriously, I called three people just to tell them that story. It's truly a miracle to me that these kiddos ever get the English language all sorted out...I mean, gr-ass, gas...same thing, right?

Oh, and if you didn't see them yet, scroll down for some pictures of Eleanor in the "baby-bug" costume yesterday. When it was time to get dressed this morning, she brought me the costume, saying, "baby-bug? baby-bug?"

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cute as a bug...

It was such a gorgeous day today!! The perfect day for putting my baby girl in a ladybug costume (thanks, Ashley), and chasing her around the yard with my camera. She actually loved wearing the costume and kept saying, "I baby-bug. Ha! Ha!"

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Funny phrases I never wanna forget

You never know what they're going to say, right? I love every minute of this whole firguring-out-how-to-speak-English phase. A few of my faves...

  • "I funny." Most of the time, Eleanor uses this phrase after she has done something she finds particularly silly. Other times, she uses it when she has gotten caught doing something she knows she's not supposed to do...she cocks her little head to the side, puts on her cheeziest smile, and says, "HA! HA! Mommy, I funny!" Right. It's ridiculously hard not to laugh about that.

  • "Like dis!" This means I should stop what I'm doing and pay very close attention to her demonstration of how to do something. She'll keep saying, "Like dis" until I acknowledge her, and I am sometimes tested over what she just showed me. " it." Oh, the pressure.

  • "I see" and "I touch." So, she did learn some things from that Senses book we had to read ten times a day for months.

She also does excellent versions of the Elmo theme song, "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star", and the ABC song. Sometimes, "Twinkle, Twinkle" gets combined with the ABC's, which makes for a stunning medley. I'm trying very hard to get videos of those.

And, just for fun, some random photos of my adorable little firefighter...

More home improvement

So, I didn't manage to get any before pictures of this particular project, but I'll try my very best to give you a mental image. On the floor just inside our front door, there was a piece of vinyl with a pattern that I'm guessing was meant to resemble cobblestone, but peach...peach cobblestone. The vinyl was peeling up on all sides, and if you weren't especially careful (or if you're 1), you could easily find yourself facedown on the floor in front of the door.

So, my hottie handyman hubbie fixed it...

The wood underneath the vinyl was rotted, as was the subfloor.

The subfloor had to be replaced.

That's my man!


Sunday, April 6, 2008

Buzz, bee, buzz!

I want to start by saying a couple of things that I think are very important. First, I didn't teach Eleanor to read. I am not some crazed flashcard-wielding maniac sitting around drilling this stuff into her head all day. She just knows how to read, and we are incredibly thankful to God for blessing her with this amazing gift. That leads me to my second thought...all kids are talented. I don't think Eleanor is any smarter than anyone else's kid. Her gift just happens to be something that emerged very early. The Bible says, "I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." (Psalm 139:14) Every kid (and adult!) is wonderfully made and is given some special talent.

So, I hope that you guys don't take these reading posts as being prideful or boastful. This blog is about documenting our life with our incredible little girl, and this is just part of it. I hope that you enjoy being a part of our little journey, and I love being able to share Eleanor with all of you!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pet giraffe

A couple of weeks ago, Jared's mom's cousin Jackie sent Eleanor this huge stuffed giraffe. (Thanks, Jackie!) Eleanor LOVES that thing! When we go downstairs to her playroom, she feeds the giraffe before she does anything else. You may be surprised to know that giraffes eat a wide variety of plastic foods including corn, grapes, onions, and, of course, artichokes. She also spends time petting and loving her pet giraffe.

I think she'd be a very responsible pet owner...if the cats would let her anywhere near them. She has stolen a few hugs and kisses from "Ak-seks" (Alex), but has probably only touched Miss Lippy a handful of times (not for lack of trying!)