Sunday, January 30, 2011

Christmas Eve, Day and So On

Christmas Eve was spent at Tom & Jenni's house as has been our tradition the last few years. After dinner out together we went home for new pajamas and "talent show", where Megan arbitrarily assigns people talents and tasks to perform for the family. This year's theme was "Christmas Shoes", which I introduced to their family as they had never even heard the song, let along seen any YouTube videos of it. In case you aren't familiar, Christmas Shoes is the most atrocious song ever written. It is a disgusting manipulative piece of crap that people seriously cry over. I'm sorry if you are one of them, not because I am offending you, but because you have no taste. We really shouldn't be friends. Here is a link in case, like the Howells, you aren't familiar. My apologies for the Donny Osmond Chills in advance. Where was I? Oh yes. Christmas Eve.

Adorable girls hugging in their new pjs. Sorry, I just had to get a picture. And notice Allie in her special robe, she really wanted a robe this year. Why? Not sure, but it is always funny how 4 year-olds think.
A little later something made Eleanor upset. She is especially cute when she cries. I need to get over this or when looking through photos later in life, she is going to wonder why her childhood was so sad.
A little bit happier...
A bit more...
And voila! We are all better!
Christmas morning was nice and low key.
Eleanor didn't seem too interested in her presents, but she found Santa's leftover cookie soon enough. She finished it while we tried to woo her with packages.
She received many baby dolls this year.
And her favorite doll, Jesse. When she started to open it she could only see the legs, so she yells "A cowboy!". Then she finished the rest and was happy to yell, "Jesse!"
Saturday we went to my parents for our usual turkey dinner and more presents and had a wonderful day there. Sunday night we went to the Firth cousin dinner up in Tremonton and also had a great time. The little cousins (technically 2nd or 3rd or once-removed or something) put on another nativity. Eleanor was again, cast as an angel.
But once again, she was a little too "improv" for the show and only lasted a few minutes in costume. At least we got a few pictures.
This is Clayton's Grandmother Ethel Mae Firth and her five children all together. She is an amazing woman, and raised five great kids. Well, except for Wayne. Just kidding.
A quick funny story. Back at Tom & Jenni's we all got to enjoy Tom's new massage chair. Seriously, I really want one, and I don't even really like back rubs. Anyhow, one time I am sitting on it and Eleanor climbs in my lap. She sits there for a minute before she laughs and says, "OH! I SHAKE!" Umm, when and where did she learn the verb "shake"? She soon became a pro at getting the chair started.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

December In Utah 2010

Look at me! I'm catching up! So- for the Holidays Eleanor and I flew to Utah on December 1st. Clayton had the idea of us going a few weeks earlier so he could focus on finals and we could enjoy extra time with family. So we did. In the future, I don't think we could do another stint away from Clayton as long as we did, but we really had a good time.

Getting there was another story. The night before I am up packing around 1 AM like I always am before a big trip, when I hear odd sounds from Eleanor's room. I go in to check on her to find that she has thrown up all over her bed, pajamas, lamb (that HAS to go to Utah in about four hours) and anything else you can imagine. It was alarming, she has never thrown up that much in her life. I holler for Clayton and he takes bath duty while I clean out the crib and start emergency laundry. We get her and everything cleaned up and tuck her back in, hoping that she can sleep a bit for the trip tomorrow. Not 20 minutes later I hear her again. And once again she has covered everything. Repeat process. The next time Clayton is just rocking her in the room when she explodes again. Repeat process. The next time he is barely walking in her room when she goes for round #4. Good grief. I think the smell in her room was setting her off at this point. We debate whether or not to postpone the flight but she is finally done and now seems happy as a clam. Also- we had planned to drive a neighbor to the airport as well, so we figured we might as well go for it. The rest of the night, she watches Ice Age in our room in bed with me. Neither Clayton or I get a wink of sleep that night.

Being exhausted, weary and more than a bit hormonal from pregnancy, I was a tad emotional when a freaky lady screamed at me on the moving sidewalk because Eleanor kept trying to get back on it. Some days I really hate people. Eleanor was a doll and was super good on the planes. She also wasn't sick again, so that was a bonus. We had two flights, but didn't have to change planes. On the second flight I gave her Benadryl to help her sleepand she got in a good nap.
Here she is showing me what a trouper she is.
You can see that lamb got washed and dried in time!
Happily, Grandma and Grandpa Howell were there waiting for us at the airport. They even brought her balloons, which is about her favorite thing in the world.
We looooove Grandma and Grandpa! I was very much in the "sickness stage" of my pregnancy and was so needing a helping hand by this point.
Happy little reader on the way to Provo.
Back at my parents house, Eleanor was delighted to watch Toy Tory (how she pronounces it) on the big screen. Normally she gets to watch it on a computer or her portable dvd player. We even found her a tutu to match Bonnie's from grandma's dress up bin.
That weekend we celebrated cousin Jack's 9th birthday! This would be the relighting of the candles for the toddler set.
Jack is now properly attired in Michigan gear.
All the big girls went into another room to do glitter nails on our toes. After a few minutes my mom told me to come see Eleanor. She had taken a birthday candle and was dipping it over and over into the cake to "paint" her toes too. Resourceful or gross?

Sadly, I caught what Eleanor had and so for a few days we recovered from our illnesses and just relaxed. It was heaven. My parents even bought Eleanor a special Buzz Light-Year chair for her to lounge in.
We soon found our way to Tom & Jenni's house where Eleanor could watch neighbor kids play.
And hang out with her favorite cousin Allie, who shared all of her toys with Eleanor.
Later we got to see most of our Firth cousins at Grandma and Grandpa Firth's house. They got to put on the nativity. Here is Justin as Joseph, Autumn as Mary and Tyler as his usual donkey.
Eleanor and Monica were Angels. Awww, just like in real life.
However, I don't remember the angels being quite so
"hands on" with the baby Jesus.
Poor Mary. She had a rough time getting her baby back.
Eleanor's job was to hold up the star. Yeaaaahhh! She did it!
Later we opened presents. Or wrapped a few.
She loves her new purses from cousin Tate! It's a good thing she has two, as when her friends come over to play she now has enough to wear one on each arm as they get to watch. Yeah, she's still "learning" to share.
Later in the season we went to visit Santa at Riverwoods. Only Santa wasn't freaking there! Twice! And yes, I looked at the indoor spot too. I wont go into detail, but I was more than a little disappointed. Durr. Luckily she is too little to know if she is missing out.
She was still cute though.
Still to come! Christmas Eve, Day New Years Eve and Clayton's Birthday! Woo hoo! I will finish it!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Guess What We're Having?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Catching Up is Tedious

I still have scads of December posts to catch up on, but yawn. I'd rather just blog about how tired I am. Doesn't that sound awesome? I've been pretty quiet on the pregnancy front this time. I imagine it is nice for everyone to not hear my every thought on every sensation this time around. That is the beauty of having done it once before I guess. And being a mom keeps me busy enough to not be so preoccupied by all the changes. Eleanor is as cute as ever. The other day I tried french braiding her hair. It was kind of funny. I've never been great at it to start with, and then add in a wiggly toddler who doesn't want her hair tugged on, and you get this:

Nice part!In other pregnancy news, look what has happened to me! Look at my recycling! The saddest part (and I really mean that) about being pregnant is that my Diet Coke tastes "off" now. I keep trying it every other week or so to see if the magic is back, but to no avail. It's breaking my heart. However, I still need the punch of carbonation apparently so I've taken to Sprite mixed with juice. I recommend Peach Nectar and Sprite, it's so good.
Today has been another banner day in productivity. I have been eating brownies and watching the whole season of Freaks & Geeks. I'd never seen it before and I am loving it. Another recommendation for you all. How is Eleanor's movie watching going? I'm so glad you've asked. Now, along with Toy Story 1,2 & 3 and Elmo, she also enjoys Ice Age 1 & 2, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Monsters Inc and The Incredibles.

Aside from my laziness, today is exciting for tomorrow we are going to Chicago! For Christmas Clayton got me tickets to go see Wicked! I have been dying to see this for years! We are going with some good friends of ours so we can swap babysitting while we each do something fun. So excited! Then, on Monday I have my ultrasound! I cannot wait to find out the gender of our little whatchacalit. I would love to hear that I am actually three weeks ahead of where I think I am, as I am already enjoying some symptoms that happened much later with Eleanor. Waddling, popped out belly-button, heartburn and trouble sleeping. See- haven't you missed my pregnancy updates?

I will have to get back to December soon and then catch up on January. Let's hope I am done by Valentine's Day! But don't hold your breath.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Thanksgiving 2010!

Thanksgiving! Now I am only 1 & 1/2 months behind on blogging, not too bad! For Clayton's birthday in December we got him Lions/Patriots tickets for November. Thanksgiving day to be exact. We decided that since we wouldn't be going home and the neighbors were all going in different directions, that we would do something totally nontraditional (for us) and go see a game. It was the first NFL game for all of us. It was so cool! Our seats were pretty close, I could see Tom Brady's mullet sticking out the back of his helmet! That's how close we were. The stadium is all indoors which was a must for me. There is no way I would drag a one year old outside in the middle of winter for a three hour game.

Here is the vantage point from our seats. It looks farther in the pictures. In real life it felt as close as being at a high school game.
See! They are right there!
Here is a better angle. Row eight! The game started out well for our home team, the Lions. After they scored their first touchdown Eleanor was ecstatic. She was so jazzed that everyone was standing, clapping and shouting together.
She got right into it. It made our day.
Toddlers love the NFL!
The Lions had a good lead until about the third quarter. Then it got kinda sad. Luckily we aren't hard-core Lions fans, but it would've been fun to see them win. Late in the game one Lion's fan got a bit tipsy and threw her empty beer bottle at a group of Pat's fans. No one was hurt, but boy did she get arrested. That's always fun. Watching red-necks get unruly.
Speaking of red-necks, Kid Rock played the halftime show! It was surprisingly fun to watch, considering that we would as just as soon go to a Kid Rock show as we would, well, go to a Kid Rock show. Remember, we are self-appointed music snobs. No offense to Kid Rock fans out there. He put on a good, albeit short, show. Sadly, Clayton had the camera in his pocket and was walking Eleanor around so we didn't get any pictures. But they made the whole field into a flag and had hundreds of young kids doing surprisingly well-rehearsed choreography.

Our best family picture from the day, but what can you expect from a Patriot's fan? Just kidding. My nephew Jack is a huge Pats fan, and it's been fun to pretend we hate their team to get a rise out of him. Teasing 9 year-olds never gets old.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Clayton's Parents Come to Michigan!

Clayton's parents came to visit us in Michigan in mid-November for a few days. We had a wonderful time enjoying the warm autumn weather and discovering a few new places. On the first day everyone went to Patriarch park to play. Well, I stay home to enjoy morning sickness.

Rex & Kathy
Swing time. It's a miracle every time we manage to get her off the swings. Man she loves them.
Grandma fixing E's hair. She never holds that still for me.
Bronners! We traveled to Frankenmuth one day to check out the world's largest Christmas store. And they aren't kidding, it's enormous! And I think we all hated it. It was like WalMart on Black Friday on crack. You would think that 7 acres of buildings wouldn't get so crowded, but wow. Ok, so a lot of our friends love it, so I am guessing that WHEN you go makes a big difference. Mid-November probably isn't recommended. Kathy bought us a sweet nativity souvenir and one for them as well. I think anyone living in Michigan has to go at least once.
However, we loved downtown Frankenmuth! It is so pretty and charming, all done in a Bavarian style. We stopped along a bridge across the Cass river to take some pictures.
Eleanor was super giggly for grandma & grandpa.
Giggly and wiggly. Why do kids get crazy-wiggly in dangerous areas?
We stopped for lunch at a crepes place that was amazing. After Frankenmuth we headed to Uncle John's Cider mill for donuts and cider. But the mill part is closed after October 31st so we just bought some cider to take home and enjoy.
Here Eleanor is getting kisses from grandma.
We also introduced them to our favorite Pho place and played a lot of cards. It was a really nice visit and it was fun for Eleanor to get to know the Firth grandparents a lot better.

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