Sunday, December 30, 2007

A day in the life of me.

This comic is a lot of what living with Leif is like. Especially when he has his wife-canceling earphones on...

Friday, December 28, 2007

Reading to Ellie


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Because one of her favorite things in the world
is when Daddy reads to her.

Things you can't very well take pictures of

  • Ellie seems to need time by herself. It seems like she needs more of it on days when Elizabeth and I are both home. This morning she went to her room saying "night, night." I followed her in and asked if she needed to go to bed. She said, "No, bye." I headed out of the room and closed the door a bit. She ran over and closed it the rest of the way. About an hour later she knocked on the door to let us know she was ready to get out.
  • Last Friday night when I when I got home from work, Ellie and I were playing in the living room. Elizabeth came over and hugged me from behind. Ellie got quite jealous. Often times when Elizabeth and I hug or snuggle, Ellie comes over, joins in, and sighs happily. Not this time. She whined profusely apparently trying to tell Elizabeth that it was her time with daddy. To emphasize the point, she pushed Elizabeth away saying, "Bye."
  • Eliana's learned a few new words of note: tiger, empty, clouds, stars, earth, planet, sun, moon, pizza, and Merry Christmas. She seems to understand and apply the concept of empty well, which is entirely useful when it comes to milk. She's not quite so clear on stars. On a cloudy night she'll often call street lights stars. She's more accurate on a clear night. She doesn't actually eat pizza; crust perhaps.
  • Last night I was reading books to Ellie before bed. Each time we finished a book, I'd tell her to put the book away and go get another one. After the fourth book, she refused my imperative, saying "No. Night, night." She went to bed and to sleep without a fuss. Although she may appear angelic on the blog, she historically didn't go to sleep quite so easily. Lately, though, she has rather been more pleasant to put to bed. Once she's said "night, night," she'll usually go down fairly easily.
  • As previously noted, Eric gave Ellie a stuffed kitty for Christmas. While it's not displaced starduck as her favorite bedtime stuffed animal, it is her favorite during the day. Stereotypically, she totes it about by the arm. The cat is definitely preferred to the baby doll Elizabeth and I gave her for Christmas and is much more likely to go in her new toy stroller.
  • As previously noted, Ellie surreptitiously picked the peas out of the pasta Elizabeth gave her. A few nights ago, Elizabeth and I were eating chicken with a side of peas. I gave Ellie some chicken. She wouldn't eat it, but she readily sucked down all the peas I would give her.
  • Yesterday we took Ellie to the clinic to get the second part of her flu shot. The anticipation was much worse than the actual stick, which was not the case for the first shot back in October. The lollipop was a more than adequate salve. She was even willing to say thank you for it despite the pain in her leg. The girl likes her sweets.
  • Ellie's phone conversation skills are a bit lacking. Her end of the call consists of "Hello...Yeah...Yeah...Bye."
  • Cheesy scrambled eggs remain a favorite food.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Videos

Eliana opening her present from Mommom and Poppy:



Ellie and Daddy having fun in the wrapping paper mess:

Christmas Festivities

It's hard to believe that Christmas is over already. I don't think I'm ready to take down the decorations yet. I feel like we just got home from Texas and I still need more time with my Christmas lights!! Maybe later today we'll venture into town and I can buy some more to stash away for next year! Really... you can never have too many lights. (Unless they're colored lights... then that first strand might to be many...)

Well, I know you're not here to read about my obsession with lights and garland, so here's the rundown of our Christmas festivities:

On Sunday we drove to Billings on our way to Roundup. Leif's brother Eric had a gift for Ellie and he wanted to play racquetball with Leif. So we met up at the mall (ack! Do you KNOW how many crazies are at the mall 2 days before Christmas!?) and had lunch, then went to the Build-A-Bear Workshop. That was Eric's gift to Ellie. She got to pick out a bear (or in her case, a kitty) and an outfit, and they stuffed her animal for her, right there in front of us! And Ellie is completely enamored with her kitty. She hugs it and cuddles it and totes it around - and leaves it mostly naked because she thinks the clothes are for her, despite the fact that she is WAAAAY to big for those little pants!



After the Build-A-Bear experience, we split up. Ellie and I stayed at the mall while Leif and Eric went to play racquetball. Ellie isn't much for crowds, so she stayed strapped in the stroller while we walked around stores. In fact, Ellie is so anti-crowd that Leif tried to let her walk around holding his hand and she walked for a couple feet, then clung to his leg, and finally just said, "Stroller! Stroller!" because there were too many people. Poor girl. So we wandered around until I found a wonderful little coffee shop that was sequestered from the rest of the bustling mall. I was getting a pretty bad headache and figured we still had an hour to kill before the boys were done playing, so Ellie and I settled into an empty seating area of the coffee shop and passed the time - I with my coffee and she with the oh-so-handy-when-traveling-with-toddlers portable DVD player and a Baby Einstein. After about an hour, Leif called to say that his glasses had gotten broken during the game and they were going to Costco to fix them before heading back to the mall. About the same time, the DVD player battery died. I was still feeling pretty dizzy and headachy, so Ellie and I headed out to the car to wait for Leif to return. Ellie got to sit in the driver's seat and thought she was just so cool. It was grand.

After our stop in Billings, we continued on to Roundup so we could spend Christmas Eve day with Leif's family. We stayed with Great Grandpa and Gayle and Ellie made herself right at home. She got to spend a little time with Great Grandpa:



And play with Brownie:



And read with Grandad:



And spend time with Grammee:



And read books before going to bed. For the first time in a looong time we slept in the same room as Ellie (though she went to bed hours before we did) and we decided that we'll try to avoid doing that in the future. She is a noisy sleeper!



On Christmas Eve, we awoke to a little voice saying "Mommy! Mommy!" Leif got Ellie some milk, then we all snuggled together in bed until Ellie got so wiggly we all decided to get up. It was Christmas Eve!! We started off the day by visiting Great Aunt Lillian, who is 102.



Ellie made herself right at home there, too. Aunt Lillian had stuffed animals for her to play with.



She even let Ellie play with and try on her necklace! And Ellie does love necklaces...



After visiting Aunt Lillian, we visited Chris Wanner. Then we headed back to Grandpa's for lunch and gifts! Ellie had fun opening gifts, but got tired of that after a while and decided just to be the center of attention instead:



It sounded like a snowstorm was coming our way, so we decided to get on the road a little earlier than originally planned, but not before we took a family picture for the holidays:



Despite some nasty road conditions through the Bozeman pass, we made it home safe and sound on Christmas Eve. We put Ellie to bed and went to bed ourselves. Then we woke up the next morning for a beautiful white Christmas!! We put on the Christmas music, sat down to a scrambled eggs and toast breakfast, and enjoyed our morning. After breakfast I read the Christmas story to Ellie from her Children's Illustrated Bible.



Then it was time to open presents!!



From Mommy and Daddy Ellie got a baby doll and a little stroller.



They were fun and all, but quickly discarded for her gift from Mommom and Poppy... A Little People Airplane!





After all the gifts were opened, I think Ellie had the most fun playing in the wrapping paper:



In the afternoon the Taylors came over for Christmas dinner. They brought turkey and dressing and yambake... Mmmm!



Ellie and Corinne had a great time playing together (though Ellie is finding it increasingly difficult to share her toys). We adults had fun playing, too! We played Chronology - if you've never played it, we definitely recommend it. It's one of our favorites. You can play it while you're distracted, and each game goes pretty quickly. So it's perfect for parents of little ones.



We ended Christmas day with a family time of snuggling in bed and reading our own books. After a while Ellie got off the bed, curled up on the floor with a blanket and said, "Night night." It was precious. She went to bed without a fuss and Leif decided that this was the best Christmas ever.


Saturday, December 22, 2007

Ellie's First Time Sledding



This afternoon we took Ellie sledding for the first time. She loved it!



First Leif went down the hill with her. I think he enjoyed it more than she did!!

video





Then he followed her down, holding onto the rope so she didn't get away.

video

Finally she got to go down all by herself and she thought it was great!




She could go really fast in the little sled we got for her. I got it at a garage sale for $5 and thought it would be perfect for a toddler. I was right! It is SO stable and the high back keeps her secure.



She really liked to watch the other kids who were sledding, too. I think she felt like one of the "big" kids and I know she likes that. She is always wanting to do what the big kids are doing.



We will definitely have to take her out sledding more often. She had such a great time with it - as she does most times she gets to go fast!! She is a little speedster, just like Leif.




Barbie


While we were in Texas this month we got to open gifts with my family and with Barbie. Barbie is a LeTourneau student who has been living with my family this semester. Ellie absolutely adores her. Even now that we are home Barbie is always included in the list of family members as Ellie rattles through them. She says, "Mommom! Poppy! Barbie! Robert!" and at some point we will have to tell her that Barbie is not really part of our family.

But family or not, Barbie had a Christmas gift and card for Ellie. I don't think anything we could ever get Eliana will compare to the card from Barbie. Ellie LOVES it. And it's perfect:

video

Ellie opened that card over and over just to hear it say "Hi! It's Barbie!" and she'd giggle and giggle and giggle and say "Barbie!!". It was just priceless, until it got annoying and we had to hide the card from her. Now it comes out on select occasions. Eventually, though, that card and these pictures will go in Ellie's scrapbook to be preserved forever. =D


Now, one thing I forgot to mention about Barbie (though perhaps you can tell from the pictures) is that she's 6 feet tall, with long blond hair, and (having grown up in Pensacola, FL) tan. She IS Barbie. So her gift to Ellie was particularly fitting and she's probably the only person on earth I would let get away with giving my 17 month old a.... Barbie doll!

The first thing Ellie did was pick up the Barbie hair brush and start brushing... her teeth! It was cute! (and proof, I guess, that we have indeed taught her how to brush her teeth...)


video

She did eventually learn that the brush is for Barbie's hair.


Now Ellie totes the Barbie doll around the house saying, "Barbie!". And for the record, I have taken all the small pieces and put them away for later. But she loves her Barbie and it reminds her how much she loves the "real" Barbie.


And really, how many little girls are able to say that they got their first Barbie doll from the REAL Barbie?

(As a side note, last year we got Ellie's picture taken with the Grinch. This year her picture was taken with Barbie. I guess we don't do Santa.)

3 days until Christmas

Friday, December 21, 2007

Dear Santa...


Dear Santa,

I have been a very good girl this year. I am friendly and I say "Hi" and wave at people. I make my mommy and daddy laugh every day. And most of the time I am obedient. Daddy says I should get coal for Christmas this year, but what I'd really like is some new socks and pajamas. I wear size 2T and like pink. I would also like an easel or table to color on, if it's not too much trouble. Otherwise I have to use my belly as a shelf and that doesn't work very well. Thank you, and have a Merry Christmas. Bye Bye.

Love,

Eliana

4 days until Christmas

Here's a little more holiday cheer: Ellie and her mother getting gussied up.



Mind you Ellie, pulled the necklace off as quickly as she could.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

5 days until Christmas!!

So in the spirit of the holidays I'm spreading a little cheer:


This face cracks me up!! Happy Holidays!!!

Crafty Ellie!

Today Ellie and I went to a friend's house to make dough ornaments. I got to visit with Andrea and Ellie got to play with Ian and Zach. And Ellie got to show her crafty side by participating in the dough ornament process! I've never tried to do a project with her before, so I wasn't sure how she'd do with it. But she had fun "rolling" out the dough and punching out shapes with the cookie cutters.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What Leif does while I'm at Craft Night...


I think I'm going to start a series of posts about what Leif does while I'm not around. For example, while I'm at Craft Night, he apparently reads to Ellie and the neighbor kids. I went down to Stephanie's to craft last night while Neal brought the kids down to our house. Leif and Neal made dinner and the kids played until bedtime. Looks to me like they had as much fun as we did.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Whoa!!

Wanna see what Leif did while I was gone??? He shaved off his goatee! His face hasn't been this bald since before we were married. Good thing I was gone for two weeks... it had time to grow back before I got home! (Of course, even without it he's a cutie, but he just doesn't look the same!)

Good times in TX

Kisses and Giggles for Mommom

(Winter in TX is obviously different than winter in MT based on the short sleeves and sitting outside on a beautiful day...)

"Helping" Mommom make cookies


(Ellie found the most "helpful" spot in the kitchen to stand.)

We had a great time in TX. There are lots more pictures and videos to share (4 GB worth!) but I will have to give you bits and pieces here and there. Otherwise it will be one GIANT post! And I think neither you nor I have the patience for that! So here are some pictures of Mommom love.