Wednesday, July 30, 2008

An announcement

So, here's the biggest, strangest, worst, coolest news to ever hit this blog...
Jared is going to Iraq. For a year.
Eleanor and I are moving to Texas. For a year. We'll be driving down with a year's worth of stuff in our car some time in September.
We're so excited about spending so much time with family and friends, but obviously we're very sad that we'll be away from our Daddy/hubbie, our house, and our Virginia friends for such a long time.
While I don't want Jared to go, there are things to be done there. And somebody's husband/Daddy/son/grandson has to go do them.


My husband decided a couple of weeks ago that it would be fun if we all watched "Wheel of Fortune" together before Eleanor went to bed every night. Eleanor very quickly turned into an addict.

All she talks about in the bathtub is how we're going to go downstairs and watch, 'Wheel Portune.' Then, once we get her pajamas on, she races downstairs, runs to the TV, and says, 'Watch the Wheel? OKAY!' Hilarious. Then, when it starts to come on, she says, 'Yay! Here it comes!'

She narrates the entire show with, 'Yay! He got it!', 'Good one!', or 'Oh NOOO!' when somebody lands on Bankrupt. She also calls out the letters as they come up, and yesterday she even guessed the word "train" while it was still missing the i.

If they ever Toddler Week, we're so there!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Eleanor is 23 months old!

So, one month until the big birthday. Sigh.

Here are a few things Eleanor is up to this month:

  • Reading everything. Today, at the mall, she said, 'Wook, Mommy. Nord-strom's.' I can assure you she's completely unfamiliar with that word!
  • Singing tons of songs. Her version of the Sesame Street song is unbelievably adorable! She also sings the ABC song and just a couple of days ago, busted out with "Row, Row, Row Your Boat," which we never sing. I think she remembers it from when we used to go to Babygarten at the library. Their brains are AMAZING at this age!
  • Repeating everything we say. She was standing at the refrigerator today saying, "Em-i-eh-kay" over and over. At first, I had no idea what she was saying. I finally figured it out..."M-I-L-K." So much for spelling so she won't understand us!
  • She's getting really good at using sentences. My favorites..."Dear Jesus, thank you. Amen." (okay, that's two little sentences) and "Let's snuggle on the couch."
  • Playing with her Little People for hours at a time. She LOVES those girls and guys and animals. Her imagination is incredible!! I wish I could write down every conversation I hear her having with her toys. It's priceless. Oh, and on the imagination point, I need to record this so I won't forget...The other day, Eleanor was dipping her washcloth in and out of the bathtub water, and when I asked what she was doing, she said, 'Making hot tea.'

Here are a few photos of Eleanor doing her very favorite thing...

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Would somebody...

please tell that little Lilypie Eleanor at the bottom of this page to get her hand off that 2?!!!!!! I just can't take it!!

You're invited.

No, really. Anyone who's reading this blog is invited. You just have to RSVP. And let me know when to pick you up at the airport. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Where the wild things are

rain + high gas prices = photo shoot to entertain bored mommy.

How cute is that animal print dress that we got from Ashley (who rocks!)?
On a side note, I would just like to warn you that unless you have a degree in Astrophysics, at no time should you attempt to take the fabric off of your child's carseat for a wash. Seriously.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

National Zoo

Yesterday morning, we headed out for the National Zoo. They open the grounds at 6 AM, and since Sleeping Beauty had finished her night's slumber by 5:15, we probably could have made it there by about 6:30. But, alas, Sleeping Beauty's father, King Jared, did not drag his royal hiney out of bed until 7:00.

Anyway, by the time we drove to the Metro stop, then rode the Metro to the zoo (which means we had to change trains once), we arrived at about 9:00. It was already hot. Very hot. I found the amount of shade at the zoo to be rather lacking. They did, however, have a lot of those sprinklers that spray a nice mist of water over you to cool you off. I didn't chance it with Eleanor, who has (what I would call) extreme water issues. So we sweated. And sweated. But it was fun. Eleanor was very excited about each animal that we saw, especially this guy (and his two friends)...

As we left the panda exhibit, my child was screaming at the top of her lungs, 'PANDA??? AH YOU???' Nice.

She eventually calmed down, and we saw more animals. I think our little family's favorite animal was by far the little chipmunk that we saw running down the siewalk carrying a Cheeto. But we did see this guy too...

He was very cool. Eleanor was shouting, 'Teetah!! MEOW!!' That made everyone around us laugh.

By the time we got to the lion, we were so hot and tired that neither of us felt like getting Eleanor out of the stroller (again!) to check him out. But, later, when I asked her what animals she saw at the zoo, the first thing she said was, 'Wion!' Well, if that's the way she remembers it...

As we were leaving, we saw this deer. She didn't belong to the zoo. She was randomly standing at the gate of the zoo enjoying some lunch. It was very strange to see a deer standing 20 ft. from Connecticut Avenue! She was very sweet, and came super close to me.

Then, we walked back toward the Metro stop, and stopped and had lunch at California Tortilla, where I snapped these. In the last one, her mouth is FULL of brownie. That's my girl!

Some shots at the Metro stop...
And WHY does this always happen to my poor husband on the Metro? As soon as his bottom hits the seat, he comes under some sort of sleeping spell. And I'm not that nice to him about it. This time, he woke up to me putting a pink sippy cup up to his mouth and pretending he was drinking it to make Eleanor (and a couple of other folks on the train) laugh.

Woah, dude.

In the past couple of days, Eleanor has used the following phrases in the correct context:
  • "awww, man!"
  • "woah, dude!"
  • "what's up?"
  • "!"
  • "ummm....nope!"

...which makes us laugh hysterically!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

At the movies

There's this old movie theater in town called Tally Ho, and they are currently having their "Children's Film Series," which means twice a week, they show a kids' movie in the middle of the day, and it costs a buck to get in.

Jared was off on Tuesday, so we thought it would be fun to take Eleanor to the movies for the first time. She was really excited and kept telling Puppy all about how we were going to the 'foovies' to see a 'bideo.' The movie was The Cat in the Hat with Mike Meyers. She did really well. She sat so still in Daddy's lap, and only occasionally yelled out a comment about something on the screen.

We left after about 40 minutes. Not because she was ready to go, but because the language started to be a little inappropriate for a little girl who repeats everything. I really didn't want to deal with my toddler randomly blurting out "Son of a ...." in public. The movie is rated PG, but I thought most of the "P" stuff would go over her head. Wrong.

Anyway, we might go back in a few weeks when they're showing Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, which is rated G.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

En espanol

Can someone tell me how to insert the tilde?? Kim, I think you had one once, right?

Anyway, here's a little Spanish counting for your amusement. I think you'll be able to tell from the video that her favorite number is 'DIEZ!!'

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Birthday photos

Saturday morning, Jared and I took Eleanor out for a photo session for her birthday party invitations. I took the pictures, and Jared was in charge of baby-handling. We only stayed out for about 45 minutes, and only got a handful of good shots. I think this is the hardest age to capture because they just won't be still!

Anyway, here are some that I liked, but didn't choose for the invite. (I can't wait to show you the finished invitation, but I have to wait until they're mailed out.)

I love the last one because I can see just a glimpse of my little baby in that big-girl body.

PS- Blogger keeps doing something to my images when I upload them. I can see it in the first and last ones...they're just distorted a little bit. Oh, well...she's get the point. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Some reading

***I added a "reading posts" link in the sidebar for those of you who haven't been with us long or for those of you who have, and want to see how cute Eleanor was in that first reading video when she was just 14 months old. :)

The lack of videos lately has been due to the fact that Eleanor stops whatever cute thing she's doing that I'm trying to capture, and immediately runs toward me yelling, 'Up, pease!' whenever she sees the video camera. That doesn't make for a very interesting video.

Anyway, yesterday I finally captured a couple of things worth posting. The first is some reading. (The other will come at some point this week...)

Right before I took the video, I jotted down some words that I wondered if she would be able to read. So, in the video, she's seeing that piece of paper for the very first time. I did edit the video, which was originally about six minutes long because well, she's an almost two-year-old, and she went off on a few tangents about having ten toes and that time (about two months ago!) when she got stung by a bee. That little two-year-old attention span is something, isn't it?!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Blogging diarrhea

Pleasant image, huh?

I just want to get everything covered, so here it all is...almost every post on this page is new.

Ah...I feel so accomplished.

Our 'sassy' story

First of all, remember last year when I tried to take away Eleanor's pacifier? Oh brother. Well, since then, I've been stressing about how I would ever get rid of that thing. Yes, for almost an entire year, I have worried about how in the world I was going to do it. Well, I decided it was time to just face the problem head-on, and take that stupid thing away. I mostly felt I needed to do it now because we have other life-altering events coming up...big-girl bed, potty training...and I didn't want giving up the pacie to coincide with those.

For a while now, I had been telling Eleanor that pacifiers were for babies and that big girls don't need pacifiers. I could tell she was really listening, but that didn't stop her from grabbing like a maniac for her 'sassy' at bedtime and naptime, which were the only times (besides when we were traveling) that I let her have it.

Tuesday morning, while we were grocery shopping at Target, I bought a Gloworm, which I had planned to use during the pacie intervention. I had not decided yet when the actual D-day would be. Well, Tuesday afternoon, Eleanor got her pacies out of her crib, and instead of threatening her with time-out if she didn't put them back, we started talking about them, and how they were for babies. Then, we found ourselves playing this game of giving the pacies to her stuffed animals. She would say, "For puppy? Okay! Not for An-nor. For doll? Okay! Not for An-nor."

I decided that was the perfect opportunity to jump in and get rid of the things. I got a baggie, and we put all three pacifiers in (yes, she had to have three to sleep!) Then, we took them outside and put them in the mailbox. On the way out, I told her that the pacifier fairy was going to take the pacies away and give them to the babies that needed them, and that she would leave a special present in their place. Hey, I wasn't lying...just pretending.

We went back in the house while Jared took the Gloworm out and put it in the mailbox. Then, we went out, and found the Gloworm in the mailbox. She was VERY excited, mostly because the Gloworm has a moon on its shirt, and she's obsessed with all things celestial.

That night, at bedtime, she kept trying to give Gloworm back to me, but she only asked for her 'sassy' once. She mostly just whimpered and made these sad faces that broke my little mommy heart all to pieces. I stayed in her room until she fell asleep. The next day, naptime was sort of an ordeal. I let her scream for ten minutes, went in, left, let her scream for fifteen more minutes, went in and rubbed her head for less than a minute before she fell asleep.

That night, she went to bed without a peep. Not a peep. I even tiptoed into her room to make sure she was alive, and then teared up because I was so proud of her for being such a big girl. Every naptime and bedtime since then has been flawless. I would have never in my wildest dreams seen this process being this easy...just 72 hours ago, she was a total 'sassy' fiend!!

So, that's it. I can't believe I'm saying this, but we're a pacifier-free household.

I feel like I should pop open some champagne...

Ryder's birthday bonanza

The day after Chloe's birthday party, it was Ryder's turn. My sister-in-law had booked this awesome place called the Brookshire's World of Wildlife Museum. The kids got to tour the wildlife museum, then play outside on the playground, which included a real firetruck and train car that the kids could climb on and explore. And, get this, it was free to have the party there. Free. You know how much I love that word.

Here's my dad with Eleanor.
I love this next picture because it just about sums up Chloe- a free spirit just livin' and lovin' life!
Eleanor LOVED the 'a-boons.'
And driving the firetruck.
We tried for a group shot. I hope someone else got one because this was the best one I had, and the birthday boy's not even in it! Oops.
This is what we saw of the girls most of the time. Just doing their own thing.
To eat, my sister-in-law had these yummy kabobs that were Chick-Fil-A chicken nuggets and blocks of cheese. As Eleanor would say, "NUMMY, NUMMY, NUMMMM!"

This is Eleanor's great-grandmother.
And here's my mom with Piper.
The birthday boy getting ready to blow out the candles.
He was sort of having issues with turning 3...
...but he got over it.

So, two awesome birthday parties back-to-back! For a couple of days afterward, Eleanor kept asking for cake. That's her favorite part of any party. In fact, on the way to Ryder's party, we told her where we were going, and she said, 'Cake....ah you? Nummy, nummy, numm.'

Chloe's birthday bash

My niece Chloe was born on the fourth of July. My sister really wanted her baby to have a holiday birthday so she made her come out six weeks early. She's an over-achiever like that. :)

My sister put together this amazing birthday party to celebrate Chloe turning the big 0-2. The theme was boats. She had this fun fishing thing planned, but the kids didn't really get it. See?...
That's my sister and Chloe.
And this is my brother and Ryder.

The girls opted for the coloring table.

And Ryder opted for hanging out with Pop. (That's my dad.)
And Piper. Well, Piper, was just happy as usual.

There was also one of those moon-bounce-jumpy-things, but I didn't get a very good picture of that.

Then, Chloe opened her presents. And Ryder helped. Eleanor went MIA during the gift-opening.

This is the cake that my mom and sister made. I know, right? Who has the nerve to make a birthday cake? Well, they do. And it was beautiful.

And delicious...
Check out these party favors my sister made. I told you...over-achiever. :)
And it's just not a party until everyone's clothes come off!!

I love this picture because Eleanor is pretending to be oh-so offended at the sight of her naked cousins, even though she's sporting the exact same outfit as Ryder.