Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Our little chatterbox

A couple of days ago, I started writing a list of all the words and phrases Eleri uses regularly. She does plenty of repetition of sounds, and sometimes when she and Soren are playing she will spend minutes at a time just repeating the last word of whatever sentence he's just finished. That in itself is pretty cute and funny. But in putting together this list, I restricted my entries to things she seems to (for the most part) actually use correctly and deliberately (i.e. not just mimicking).

Let me back up a second. A few weeks ago, Eleri had her 18 month doctor visit. During the little pre-assessment period (before the doctor got there) the nurse asked, among other things, if Eleri knows "between 5 and 20 words." I laughed and said she knew well more than that. I had never sat down and counted them all, but I knew it was definitely over 20. A few days later, Tom & I were talking about it, and he said he was actually a little concerned about Eleri's verbal development (compared with Soren's at the same age), but that he could come up with about 30 words that he thought she knew. So I started listing some - many MANY of which were met with "oh, I forgot that one" or "ah, wasn't counting that" - and soon we were up to about 80.

Okay, so that was a couple of weeks ago. Fast-forward to Monday of this week, when I started writing them all down. I've come up with (as of this morning)...168 words and 22 phrases. Pretty good! In the interest of preserving the list for my own - and Eleri's - future amusement (and, okay, just a wee bit of maternal crowing), here's the breakdown:

[A's name]
Jo-Bean (Soren's imaginary friend JoJo Beans)
[Soren's friend L's name]

granola bar
mac cheese
spicy snack

Body Parts
beebo (belly button)



work (as in "Daddy's at...")



tv (vee-vee)


all done
come back
don't want to
for you
go 'way
here/there you go
I/we did it
let go
love you
me too
my turn
no bites
not nice
oh my
pants off
ready, set, go
thank you
the end
uh 'appened
uh oh
whoa, dude

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Girls' Weekend / Boys' Trip

Day 100

Day 189

Saturday was the wedding. Tom got lots of pictures. Soren, by all accounts, had a great time playing with his cousins and visiting his grandparents. And of course, he looked pretty darned cute doing it. :)

Eleri and I, meanwhile, had a relaxed morning and then took our car in to get some new tires. Fortunately, we found a tire shop just down the road, so we were able to walk back home when they said they needed to keep the car for a few hours. We had lunch, Eleri had her nap, and after she woke up, we walked back for the car. Then we went to the playground & grocery store. Dinner, bedtime (for Eleri) and a bunch of photo-editing/posting (for me).

Day 101

Day 190

This picture of Soren is actually from Monday morning. The guys spent much of Sunday in the air, headed home.

Some time in the middle of the night, Eleri came in our room and (I think) tripped and fell against our bed frame. The very same bed frame that caused a 3am ER visit for poor Soren last year. The corner (we think) he fell against is pretty well padded now, but as far as I can tell, it looks like Eleri may have scraped her lip on the straight side of the frame. Nothing was bleeding in the middle of the night, but the little surface abrasion got more and more noticeable as the next morning wore on. Didn't seem to bother her too much, at least. But that's what is going on in the above picture.

So, on Sunday, Eleri & I ran some errands, stopping at Chipotle for lunch. El's been very anti-high chair lately, which isn't a huge issue, but it can be a bit irksome when we go to restaurants. Especially when I forget and order something - like tacos - that's tough to eat one-handed with a squirmy toddler on my lap. This time, it actually looked like she was going to be fine with it, but after a few minutes in the high chair, she started fussing. And soon she was having a full-on meltdown while I shoved my lunch down my gullet as fast as possible. Sigh. I mostly avoided contact with everyone around me, so I don't know how many nasty glares I got, but there were at least a couple of people who looked on me pityingly.

And then of course, as soon as I was finished eating and could hold her on my lap, she was instantly happy. Ah well.

After her nap, the lass and I went down to the pool for a bit and then took it easy for the rest of the afternoon/evening. I gave her a bath and (as I mentioned in the last post) tried to get her to fall asleep a bit earlier than usual so I could get some last-minute things done before we had to go pick up the guys at the airport, but 'twas not to be. I was pretty surprised by how long she stayed awake, even once we were in the car and on the road. She finally did pass out for a while, but the excitement of reuniting with Tom and Soren was a bit too stimulating. Hehe. I did have the very cliched heartwarming experience of seeing Soren come running down the airport hallway for a hug, and he was quite thrilled to tell me all about his trip. (Me, and anyone else who would listen, as we quickly discovered after he trotted away from us at the baggage carousel to chat with some guys.)

It was a quick trip for sure, and no doubt a tiring one for Tom & Soren, but it sounds like they had a fantastic time. I'm really glad they got to go, and it was nice to have a couple of days of one-on-one time with Eleri. :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Last Week

Last week was quite busy in the lead up to Tom & Soren's big trip out to Oregon. Somehow I wasn't able to squeeze in time for blogging. ;)

Day 94

Day 183

I actually don't have much to say about Sunday. I don't remember any remarkable happenings. Probably did some chores, definitely did a bunch of cleaning and tidying.

Day 95

Day 184

Monday! It was forecast to be a brutally hot one, so we got up & out of the house early and met A & his mom at Burke Lake Park. It had been almost 11 months since we were there last, so it was the first time Eleri actually got to play on the playground. She bravely tried 2 of the big slides all by herself and had a great time following the boys around but also playing on her own. After an hour and change on the playground, we headed down to ride the train and carousel. All the kids were super excited about the train, and after our ride, the engineer let the kids sit up in the driver's seat; Soren and A were, needless to say, over the moon thrilled. Eleri was also big enough this time to ride a horse on the carousel (instead of riding on my back), and while she was a bit squirmy before the carousel started moving, once it got going she was totally into it. After the ride was over, she quietly chanted, "Pony, pony, pony..." for a while. Hehe.

We left the park around noon, just as the heat was starting to get nasty. One quick errand on the way home, and then we just took it easy for the rest of the day. Tom wasn't feeling well and came home earlier than he's been doing, lately, which was unfortunate for him but meant I got to go to the gym after dinner.

Day 96

Day 185

Tuesday was another busy one. Zoom class in the morning, hanging out at A's house after (his mom was letting me use their treadmill). Then we picked up Tom so we could take him to the doctor. Poor guy had infections in both ears and a possible sinus infection. :( Not the sort of thing you want to develop a few days before you're going to be riding a plane across the country. It was another really hot day, but we soldiered on and did some shopping after dropping Tom back at work. Soren needed some stuff to wear to the wedding, and it took trips through 4 stores for us to find some suitable things. We eventually did though and made our way back home.

In the evening, Tom & I worked on compiling a list of all the words Eleri knows. We ended up with well over 80. She is quite the verbal lass. ;)

Day 97

Day 186

Wednesday we did our usual mall walking in the morning and then hung around the mall to do just a bit more shopping. Found ties for both Tom & Soren and some new sandals to replace the ones Soren has nearly run into the ground (he's worn them nearly every day this summer). While Eleri napped, Soren got to try on his "wedding clothes," to his great excitement. He's hilarious.

That afternoon there was a crazy intense thunderstorm. I could not believe that Eleri napped right through it. There were some incredibly loud claps of thunder, one of which startled me so badly I jumped 2 feet in the air and still had a racing pulse five minutes later. I thought surely that one would have awakened her, but when I went back to check on her, she still appeared to be asleep. At that point, I figured I should probably double check to make sure she was still breathing. Hehe. And wouldn't you know it, my standing there, staring silently at her for 5 seconds to watch for the rise and fall of her back? Yep, that's what woke her. Figures!

In the evening the kids & I met an out-of-town friend for dinner (old dive buddy we hadn't seen since before Soren was born, so she'd never met the kids). The restaurant we went to promotes itself as a purveyor of "Asian tapas," which sounded very intriguing, but it was really just your standard pan Asian fare. Tasty, but nothing too out of the ordinary. The kids were...not exactly on their best behavior at dinner. Nothing too bad, just wiggly, and Eleri continued her streak of freaking out over being put in a high chair, so she spent the meal sitting in my lap while I did my best to keep her from flinging food everywhere. Whee. It was still a nice visit though, and both kids were really excited about looking at the fish tank by the sushi counter after we finished eating.

Day 98

Day 187

Thursday was a cleaning day. I spent the morning tidying up the apartment, and then in the afternoon I took my stir crazy duo to the spray park. It was a lot less crowded in the afternoon, and we had a great time! The last time we were there, Soren was horribly jealous of some other kids who had buckets to play with. The whole time he'd been asking why he couldn't have a bucket, and could I please go get him one so he could play with it now? So this time, he started asking early if he could bring a bucket along, and I of course told him he could, but in the usual rush to get out the door, I completely forgot to look for one. So we were already on the way, and he asked where his bucket was, and I felt bad about forgetting, so we stopped at the grocery store to see if they had any. They did not, but I wandered the aisles looking for an acceptable substitute. Finally in the Tupperware section, I found something I thought might suit. I asked Soren if it would be a good bucket, and he said, "Yes! It's the perfect bucket for me!" So. Cute.

Once we got to the water park, he spent a full 45 minutes with that Tupperware container, filling it up and dumping it out, pouring water over his head, pouring water down the drains, humongous grin on his face all the while. Totally worthwhile purchase. And then when some other kids asked to play with it, he was very nice about sharing. Eleri also had some turns with the bucket and spent some time playing with a little plastic shovel someone else had brought. We were at the park for a good hour and a half at least, and then Soren was shivering so much it was time to go. But shivering while still wearing that humongous grin. ;)

And still the day was not over! In the evening we went into DC and ate really tasty Indian food with Max, Agnes & Alice. Tom wasn't stuck too late at work, so he was able to join us. A fine time was had by all.

Day 99

Day 188

And then it was Friday! Tom went to work for a half-day, and I took the kids to the zoo with A and his mom. I figured I should try to run Soren around as much as possible so he'd have a better chance of sleeping on the plane. We had a nice time. The weather could not have been more mild and perfect, and I recorded this very adorable "Eleri as a lion" moment.

A couple of hours after we got home from the zoo, it was time to leave for the airport. Usually we fly in and out of Reagan National Airport, which is very close by, but this time the guys were leaving from Baltimore. It's a good thing we left as early as we did. Friday afternoon traffic was awful once we got north of DC, and then I missed the exit for the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and had to backtrack a couple of miles. Yippee. We made it though, in plenty of time, and off the fellows went for their trip. Eleri and I stopped for an early dinner on our way home and then began our girls' weekend. The lass was especially hilarious at bathtime; with no Soren there to monopolize the bath toys, she was much more vocal and spent a bunch of time playing silly games with them. It was cute. :)

I'll hold off on my account of the rest of the weekend until tomorrow. Tom said the two of them had a great time, and he took lots and lots of pictures, so I'll be going through those and no doubt posting some.

Just another half hour or so until we leave to fetch the boys at the airport. I had really hoped to get Eleri sleeping earlier than usual this evening so I could have a bit of time to finish this blog post in peace and maybe eat some ice cream, heck maybe even watch a movie. Alas, she had other plans and is at this moment (at NINE FIFTY-THREE PM) climbing in my lap asking for more crayons. Wide awake as can be. I know she'll pass out in the car, but sheesh. Oh well. We really did have a nice weekend together.

All right, going to finish up a couple of chores and then hit the road. Have a good night.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Before I get too behind again

Photos from the last 3 days.

Day 91

Day 180

We mostly stuck around the house on Thursday, trying and failing to make much of a dent in the chores that needed to be done. I did manage to run 2 loads of dishes, but that was about it. It was the first weekday in a while with no errands or out-of-the-house plans, and everyone was a little stir crazy by about midday. Things got a little crazy after the kids ate their afternoon snack of peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

Day 92

Day 181

Friday was, as previously mentioned, Eleri's half-birthday and 18 month doctor appointment. In the evening we went to a birthday BBQ at our friend H's house. The kids love H's backyard (Soren said, "H has a park at her house!") and were really quite well behaved, all things considered. Around 9pm, Soren started going around to all the party guests and saying goodbye. I assumed Tom had decided it was time to go and had told the lad to bid his adieus. So I followed Soren back to where Tom & Eleri were standing and said, "Time to go?" Tom said, "Is it?" There were chuckles all around, and I told him what Soren had been doing. We decided to go ahead and take Soren's hint and be on our way. ;)

Day 93 / Day 182

Another great pony day for me. I had a nice ride on Andy, who's been getting more regular and frequent work lately, so he's improved a ton in the 3 or so weeks since I was on him last. On the one hand, that makes him less of a challenge now, so the shining moments are maybe not quite as rewarding as they were before. On the other hand, it's easier to get him going nicely, and to sustain that for longer, so it's probably more fun overall.

In the afternoon, the kids were snuggled all sweetly on the couch for a little while, sharing the iPod. They are awfully cute, those two.

Friday, July 08, 2011

18 months

Eleri had her 18 month checkup this morning. The first thing the doctor said when he came in was, "Well, she looks like she eats well." Indeed, she is large but proportional - 26 lbs, 32.75" long, head circumference 19.5" (75th, 81st and 98th %iles, respectively). That's a big noggin. Heh. Everything else checked out fine, and as per usual, Soren was silly and charming and elicited a couple of, "Wow, he's really smart, isn't he?" remarks from the doc.

Since I already gave a run-down of her recent vocabulary expansion, I don't have much else to add here. Oh! Except that yesterday she came up to me kind of out of the blue and said, "Potty. Potty." So just for the heck of it, I took off her diaper and sat her on the froggy potty, and she peed! And then she went again before bathtime. I was pretty shocked, since her potty productivity up to now has been spotty at best (spotty potty production). And I'm obviously not going to jump up and down and declare her ready to start potty training in earnest, but it still seemed like a noteworthy happening.

That's all for now.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Another 40+ photos

I really, really, REALLY have to get back to posting photos daily instead of in huge clumps like this.

Day 65

Day 154

Day 66

Day 155

Day 67

Day 156

Day 68 / Day 157

Day 69

Day 158

Day 70

Day 159

Day 71

Day 160

Day 72

Day 161

Day 73

Day 162

Day 74

Day 163

Day 75

Day 164

Day 76

Day 165

Day 77

Day 166

Day 78

Day 167

Day 79

Day 168

Day 80

Day 169

Day 81

Day 170

Day 82

Day 171

Day 83

Day 172

Day 84

Day 173

Day 85

Day 174

Day 86

Day 175

Day 87

Day 176

Day 88 / Day 177

Day 89

Day 178

Day 90

Day 179