Thursday, March 31, 2011

Curly Hair

I've mentioned this before, but curling Eleanor's hair is weird. It doesn't make her necessarily look cuter, just different. Most children look all storybook and magical when you curl their hair, so far I haven't found that to be the case with little E. Don't get me wrong, I still think she's the most beautiful, darling thing on the planet and I feel sorry for all other children, but I guess I just find her cutest when her hair is in pigtails. Anyhow- the Sunday after her 2nd birthday I curled her hair just for the fun of it. In her fancy ruffled dress I made her prance around so I could take a bunch of pictures. None turned out good enough to forgo a real photo shoot, but they are cute all the same.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Eleanor's 2nd Birthday Part 2

We had a low-key party for Eleanor. Just our immediate neighbors over for cake and ice-cream. I made Eleanor a Jessie cake since she still loves Toy Story 1, 2 & 3 with all her heart. And I made Cookie Monster cupcakes because, well, because they were just the cutest thing ever and I wanted an excuse to make them. Eleanor "napped" right up until her guests were here and so she got to see the cake at the same time as everyone else. Right away she started saying "Loot- is Yessie!" over and over. I was pleased.
Here are the treats!
She seriously was so happy with her cake. It makes me want to make her themed food more often. Not really, but look at her sweet smile.
But then! I can't even remember what happened, but she was upset about something of life or death importance. Sweet neighbor Sophie was there to comfort her.
She perked up enough to enjoy the birthday song and candles, but you can still see tears hanging on her cheek in these photos. Too sweet. Hey- this is kind of a family portrait. Clayton, Eleanor, me and the baby poking his way into the picture.
Halfway there! Man it's a lot of work to blow out two candles!
In case you were wondering what 6+ months looks like, here ya go. It looks awesome. Kidding, I look ready to deliver, but the fun part is that I have three months to get even bigger!
Eleanor really enjoyed all the balloons (of which we have about 30 still left around the house) and opening some more of her presents.
Hew new cute baking set which is perfect as Eleanor loves spending time in the kitchen "helping" me make treats or washing the dishes.
Enjoying her new Belle doll. Belle has already been all over town with us.
She also got a little kitchen sink, a puzzle, a barbie, and a vacuum that tells you puns as you push him around. "Hey is that a jackrabbit? No- it's just a dust bunny!" Yeah, he's hilarious. We ended up shelving one last present since she was pleased as punch with her toys. So that was her big day. It's funny how I spent weeks and weeks last year thinking about and planning her 1st birthday This year I was googling Jessie cakes the day of. Until she has friends that care, her parties might just get sadder as the years go on.
And baby number 2? Yeah, he'll be lucky to get a cake.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Eleanor's 2nd Birthday Part 1

On March 12th Eleanor turned two! After a quick birthday wish in the shower? we headed to the zoo. We did the same thing last year, we figure it's a great (free in March) tradition. Here is the link to the pictures from last year- we tried to recreate a few of the shots for comparison.

The weather this year was a bit colder than last, but there were still lots of animals to see. Like the goats, who could smell our McDonald's (I know, we're awesome.) breakfast.
After visiting the goats and the donkey that, according to Eleanor, liked her shoes- ("He like my shoes!" over and over...) we went to the Lion House to warm up.
Clayton and E checking out the Red Ruffed Lemurs who can shriek louder than the most annoying car alarm.
Outside looking at ostrich or something. This is one of the shots we tried to recreate from last year.
The great part of taking 20 shots to get one to match last year's, is that you get wonderful new shots like this one. If this doesn't make you happy, you are dead inside. Or you are normal, but come on, it's pretty cute.
Last year we got to go with our wonderful friends the Oversons. As they live in Utah now we got the chance to go with our beloved neighbors the Johnsons. Here is Eleanor with her favorite neighbor (no offense to the others, but we all know where we stand) Angela, or "Ala".
And here are the rest of us, including Timmy, Grant and Zach.
If you watched the video from my last post, then you saw how crazy the Mandrills were acting that morning. We spent a good amount of time there enjoying their antics. At one point the biggest of the Mandrills decided there had been enough monkeying around (hardy har har), so he walked over and planted himself in front of me and "presented" his backside. That was all, just put his bum up to my face on the window and left it there for a good minute or two. I'm not quite sure what the message was, but I feel tickled that he picked me out to receive it. Or maybe not so much. Gross and gross.Yeah, yeah, I see you.

Clayton having a staring contest with the resident lion. It's easy to act all tough with that glass there to protect you, but that lion should watch his back in the wild.
Our little (growing as you can see) family outside with the tiger.
And our own little tiger.
Love her! Can't believe she's two!
Little Grant!
Only Zach had the roaring part down.
Back at home we tried to interest Eleanor in her presents. A few of them were left over from Christmas as she was super spoiled then, and couldn't possibly process any more toys. The same thing happened here. She opened one and was good to go.
Of course, when that one is Buzz Lightyear, what more could you want?
After present, she got her birthday "nap" (or play in her crib time) and then got up just in time for her party. That will have to be the next post!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Mandrills are Crazy Happy It's Eleanor's Birthday

I will post a whole lot more of Eleanor's birthday in a day or two, but I had to get these two videos up today. This is Eleanor and our neighbors Zach & Grant visiting the Mandrills at the Potter Park Zoo on her birthday. The Mandrills seem to think Eleanor and Zach are either new friends, new enemies or holding out food for them. (Eleanor's red mittens.) Whatever it is, they are putting on quite a show for the kids.

This next part is funny as Zach asks the Mandrill "Do you like me?" with all the sincerity that a three year old can muster, and Eleanor asks "Dat mine, dad?" Yes, of course it is Eleanor. Everything, we've found so far, is yours.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Eleanor's Two Year Stats

A few weeks ago I took Eleanor in for her latest immunization shots. Due to some rigmarole with finding her a new clinic after her last "doctor" was so "awesome", she was quite a bit behind. So one month before she turned two she actually got her 18 month shots. I will still count this for her two year stats though. Oh well, I'll try harder with the next baby.

Eleanor did very well on this visit. We ADORE Dr. Jonathan Gold, if you are ever in need of a new pediatrician, I highly recommend his whole office. Clean, nice waiting room. Super efficient staff and wonderful nurses. And he is just fantastic. He's like a doctor out of a story book. Sorry to be so effusive, but let me tell you about her last doctor. It's a bit of a tale, so skip the next part if you aren't in the mood for a long story. Seriously, it's kinda long.

Horrible story
Dr. Keith Scarlett. Ugh. I couldn't understand a word he said, due to some hearing/speech problems and a heavy Carribean accent. He was constantly shouting commands to his assistant who wrote everything down. He would also start talking crazy-fast into this tape recorder when out of the blue he would randomly ask you a question. It was impossible to know when he was talking to you versus his recorder or assistant. Then he would be annoyed that you didn't respond! But in my defense, he also had a lazy eye and would be looking a foot to my left when speaking to me. Super awful communication problems. I brought Eleanor in with a cold (her first unnecessary trip to the doctor) and he didn't even look at her. Didn't look in her ears, listen to her breathing, anything. Just asked a few questions and started shouting the diagnosis to his assistant. "Bronchiolitis! B.R.O.N...." Yes, he would spell every big word out for his nurse(?) and his tape recorder. Very odd, and very thorough. Makes me think he has seen the wrong end of a lawsuit before. His office was dirty and disgusting. All his furniture was ancient, like from the 70's and not in a cute retro way. Even his free drug posters were ages old. Apparently pharmacy reps haven't been by in about ten years. The "artwork" on the walls were old posters of Porsches in frames that had black stains on them. I took a picture on my phone to prove I wasn't in an episode of the Twilight Zone. (Sadly I can't get pictures off my phone.) I also waited in the exam room for over 45 minutes with a cranky, sick 11 month old. Then both he and his assistant acted annoyed that she was wanting to grab their clipboards off the hooks on the wall. They actually yelled at me to stop her. Holy mother, give me a break! But the worst/best part of it all was the scale. How much do you suppose a baby scale costs? For a fancy medical one, maybe $100-2000 dollars? Maybe $50 off Craigslist? I really don't know. Maybe they are tens of thousands of dollars. All I know is that they didn't have one. No baby scale. No. Instead the nurse (who was wearing jeans, high-tops and a studded rainbow belt but no lab coat or scrubs) had me step on this giant carnival scale while holding Eleanor. She wrote the number down in pen ON HER HAND and then held Eleanor while I stepped on alone. She then did the subtraction in pen ON HER HAND to see how much Eleanor weighed. I swear I am telling the truth. I only say that because if someone told me that I would say, "Noooo. That can't be true." But yeah. It was bad. Did I mention that Dr. Scarlett's office is also one of those "Medical weight loss" clinics? Along with being a family practice, and pediatrician's office? Anyhow, Eleanor was prescribed antibiotics (which surprise! didn't work) and told to come back in two weeks. We did, had a similar examination, a second dose of meds and never went back. I changed my insurance plan just to get another doctor for her. No other doctors were accepting new clients on my old plan. Anyhow, you can understand why we are extra in love with Dr. Gold now

Back to her appointment. See how clean the rooms are? Nice and sterile. They even put Eleanor in a teeny tiny gown before her examination. Probably unnecessary, but truly adorable.
Check her out!
And like all hospital gowns, not quite enough coverage in the back.
Statistics (mainly for my records)
So- Bragging ahead, her 2 year statistics are: Height: 33 & 1/2 inches. Weight: 25.6 pounds. And her head circumference is 48.8 centimeters. I know! How often are we moms bragging about head circumference? Eleanor is well above her age group for language and above average for most every thing else. She can communicate in 8+ word sentences, "knows" her ABC's and can count into her teens. I'm not sure who taught her to count, cause we sure didn't. She says the funniest things to us and makes us laugh daily. She can jump off the ground with both feet (and says "I jumpeen!") and finally likes to dance. She wasn't really into it as a younger baby like a lot of kids are. She loves her neighbors, especially Ala (Angela). She does well in nursery, did better when it wasn't at 1PM. Loves to look at books and be read to. Loves to watch movies, her favorites right now are Mickey Mouse Club House, Ice Age, Nemo, Monsters Inc, Toy Story 1,2 & 3, The Incredibles and anything Elmo. She loves Sesame Street, calls it "sunny day" after the song. She loves songs and music and can kind of sing quite a few songs. Twinkle Twinkle, I Am A Child of God, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Popcorn Popping and a few others. Her favorite foods are chicken nuggets, hot dogs, fruit snacks, eggs, bananas, peas and any type of berry. Sadly that is almost all she eats. She is getting better bit by bit. She wears size 18M to 2T and likes to take off her pajamas if she isn't sleepy. She is very comfortable socially and around most strangers. We couldn't be prouder of our little girl. I wish we could say we do really intensive exercises with her to get results, but I am more and more convinced that she is just a smart cookie and luckily we aren't doing too much to derail her God given gifts.

A few of our favorite Eleanor quotes:
I peek in on her after her nap and she says "Hi mommy! You still wake?" (I do take naps, but...)

In the bath she was pouring water back and forth between two cups saying "Here doo doh. Doen mate mess!" (Here you go, don't make a mess.)

Carrying all her Toy Story figurines around in her large red laundry tub saying "Hode on dies" over and over. (Hold on guys.)

I was popping Clayton's back and accidentally scratched him so I said "Sorry babe". Eleanor was "helping" rub his back so she starts saying over and over "Sawee babe, sawee babe." Weeks later I was popping his back again and she took a turn rubbing and started saying it again. How did she remember that?

"Otey tow!" (Holy cow.)

Was watching Monsters Inc when something made her laugh. She shouts "I happy! Eleanor happy!"

One day while running errands I needed to feed both of us some lunch so I ran through Fazolis to get something for me so I didn't have to eat McDonalds, which I planned to go through next for her. I get my pasta and put it on the passenger seat and start to drive towards McDonalds when from the back seat I hear the saddest little voice say, "Fin fies... me hab one?" (French fries, me have one?) I love that she was hungry and thought I wasn't sharing.

I hear her saying "Where's Eleanor?" a few times. I go and look and she has her Woody doll on her head with his legs covering her face, "hiding".

I was sitting on a massage chair and she came and sat on my lap. She sat there for about 30 seconds before she started giggling and hopped off saying "Oooh! I shake!" Who taught her "shake"?

Friday, March 04, 2011

High Maintenance Toddler

On our way out the door Eleanor honestly wanted to bring all of these "purses" with her. The red thing is a plastic tub I use for laundry in her room. She would rather it be her purse to hold four or five two-inch figurines around the house, so she dumps out the dirty clothes and carries it around. It's funny and it forces me to add her laundry to ours, so we let her. This day however I told her she could bring it but chucked it aside at the last minute when she wasn't looking. Oh was there ever a tantrum when she figured it out. She is much smarter than I am, I need to remember that.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Our Little Pirate

Eleanor has a special "smile" that I've noticed for over a year now. It cracks me up every time, especially when someone else is taking the picture and asks "Is that look her smile?" Yes, yes it is. To get a "true" smile I have to either catch her when she is happy, enjoying something or ask her to show me her teeth. Otherwise I get the following.

Oh wait, this one is ok...
...oh, there it is.

Ok, a few of these can be chalked up to the sun.

Blinky McGee, the fiercest toddler-pirate in all of Michigan.

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