Monday, January 25, 2010

Back into the Swing of Things

Charlie and Eleanora destroying the evidence when I caught them in the snack cupboard

We are finally all relatively healthy and ready to get back into the regular routine of life. Eleanora now has 8 visible teeth (4 on top and 4 on the bottom) with a few more on their way as evidenced by her extra drooling, slightly runny nose and lots of chewing on her fingers. Her 15 month checkup last week revealed that she continues to be in the 90th percentile for height and has climbed up from 10th to 25th percentile for weight. This is the first time I haven't heard a lot of "tips and tricks" from the doctor about ways to sneak more fat into her diet. I think all the whole milk she is drinking is doing its job! She was diagnosed with yet another ear infection (3rd in 6 weeks - ugh!) but otherwise is very healthy and happy. The doctor was writing in her chart with a dog pen and Eleanora kept pointing to it and saying, "Daw! Daw!" and then panting like a dog. She also says, "Ba" (banana), and "tan ooo" (thank you, when prompted) as well as "Hi", "Mama", and her all-time favorite "Dada". She occasionally roars like a lion and can identify her elbow, nose, eyes, hair, fingers, toes, tongue, and teeth.

Mimi and Eleanora after their water fight in the tub

Combining her two favorite activities: being naked and reading!

Snuggling with Daddy makes boo boos all better

Enough bragging about Eleanora (I could go on and on). Auntie Natty was in for a long weekend visit last week and it was so fun to have her around. We even got a little sister-bonding time/pedicures while Liam watched Eleanora. Glorious! Oh, and I think "Nataliam" were pretty happy to be reunited. It's just too bad they aren't at all good looking...

The beautiful people

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Monster Recap: Part 2

My Monster Christmas Recap was not monster enough! I inadvertently left out pictures from our super-fun Petri Christmas celebration. Due to the major (!) construction going on at my parents' house, Aunt Laurie graciously offered to host our annual extravaganza of fun, food and music. She kicked the event off with a beautiful and heartfelt toast to the family that had most of us in tears. Dinner was glorious and delicious and the company was even better.

Our hostess with the mostess was moving too fast with her duties to catch on film. Well, she did slow down long enough to have an impromptu dance party in the kitchen to her favorite Christmas song, but Eleanora and I were too busy dancing along to take any pictures. I did capture a few photos amidst the fun, wrapping-paper-covered, wonderful chaos.

One of my favorite Christmas presents of the year was from Uncle Dan. He shares our love of Rogers and Hammerstein's Cinderella (dubbed "Cinderella People" by Natalie as a little girl to distinguish it from the lesser animated Disney version). Uncle Dan put his musical talent to remarkable use by performing one of our favorite songs from the film to a enraptured audience. He was amazing and we absolutely loved it. What a Christmas miracle!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monster Christmas Recap

Brace yourselves for a deluge of pictures and Christmas memories. After all the whirlwind traveling, packing, unpacking, staying in several (lovely) different locations, I am just getting around to posting all the Christmas fun.

The trip out wasn't too bad. Eleanora is not a big fan of being confined to any one location, but she was generally happy. She had her own seat on one of the flights and loved being strapped in with her coloring book, snacks and drink close at hand. She also loved saying "Hi!" to every person passing our row. She was also completely enamored with two sweet little girls in the row behind us and stared at them open-mouthed for a good portion of the trip. Ben and I were able to enjoy the time together traveling. With nothing else competing for our time and attention, we we able to focus on our little family of three and talk, entertain and play with Eleanora interruption-free.

We started Christmas off with a bang in Erie by getting right down to business and introducing Eleanora to Santa. It went about as well as I expected.

The above picture was snapped in the 3 seconds she sat on his lap. Obviously, she had the time of her life. Who wouldn't love sitting on the lap of a strange big, bearded old guy dressed in a fuzzy red and white outfit complete with giant belt-buckle sporting his name in huge letters? Silly, silly girl.

Ben's Mom sent us his old snowsuit which she had saved. We had no excuse not to put all that Erie snow to good use. Of course, we spent more time getting her bundled up than actually in the cold fluffy stuff. What do you expect from an Arizona baby?

We attended Christmas Eve service at my parents' church where Eleanora was entertained by swapping toys and snacks with the little boy behind us, and playing in the hall with her future husband, Keegan.

Christmas morning was the most miraculous ever. Eleanora loved-loved-loved her very first stocking and carefully examined and played with each item before moving on to the next. She definitely got the hang of opening presents too. In the two months since her birthday, she has become a total pro at ripping open packages, throwing the gift aside and playing gleefully with the box and tissue paper.

Eleanora loving her stocking and Uncle Bob practicing his fly fishing technique in his new hip waders

Real men wear aprons!

Eleanora's first piano lesson

We also had a great time visiting friends and family in Pittsburgh. We stayed with friends Beth, James and Isabelle. Eleanora is in love with both Isabelle and her amazing playroom (hereby dubbed "Disneyland").

I love the picture below of the girls. Isabelle looks exhausted by the joint effort at creating total chaos (and too many kisses from Eleanora!) while Eleanora is determined to make the most of every moment in Disneyland.

Eleanora and her namesake, great grandma Eleanor

A major milestone occurred on our trip to PA - Eleanora began walking! To that point she'd only taken a step here and there and much prefered to hold a hand or solid object for support. Following a bath, and rousing (naked) game of "Ring around the Rosie", Eleanora boldly walked across the bathroom and into Gigi's arms for a big hug. Maybe it was the lack of clothes that gave her a burst of confidence? Since then, she's been toddling around most of the time (usually fully-clothed), only crawling when she's in a hurry.

While we were away, Santa brought Eleanora her very own kitchen set complete with a dishwasher (lucky girl!). She has been cooking up a storm ever since!

It was a whirlwind trip, full of family, friends and lots and lots of snow. While we certainly miss family, it is good to be home and getting back into our routine. Now we just need to kick this latest cold both Eleanora and I have before Natalie arrives for a visit on Thursday. "Why so soon after Christmas?" you ask? I'll let the picture below speak for itself.

Adorable "Nataliam" (my Dad's genius nickname!)