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!)

1 comment:

Natalie said...

great update, great photos! Does anyone know how the snowbear is doing?

I can't wait to witness Eleanora walking!