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September 20, 2008

Anne Marie's Big Day

Our Birthday girl started out the day with a little bit of TV (special treat) while we got dressed. Unfortunately Daddy had a school commitment so after we waved goodbye, the girls and I loaded up in the car for a birthday breakfast at Chick fil a. We had decided to support our Vols today, and while Anne Marie was in a demure grey shirt with Tennessee written in orange, Ellie and I were in blinding Volunteer orange in the middle of Dawg Country. Brave. Very brave indeed. We got alot of looks that were hopefully due to our orange or the utterly adorable girls I had with me and not the fact that I looked a little like death warmed over having gone to bed late, not slept well, and not showered. Lovely picture, I know. Thankfully the only confrontation, if you want to call it that, was a high school boy, clad in a Georgia shirt, who told Ellie he didn't like her shirt. But we laughed it off and told them good luck... they wished us the same - I think we need it. Many chicken minis were eaten by the birthday girl and for another special treat - cinnamon rolls.

Post Chicken Minis and Cinnamon Rolls

We had to come home for Ellie to take her nap, much to Anne Marie's chagrin. To ease the transition, she got to paint. Much fun.


Just for fun:

Then, so mommy could start this blog and get some chores out of the way, quiet time ensued. Here she got to play with blocks, read books, color, and listen to music. Sounds like fun to me.

Quiet Time

After quiet time, Anne Marie got to watch a special movie so Mommy could get a little College Gameday in while deep-cleaning the kitchen. Ellie ate a leisurely lunch to keep her contained.

Movie and a banana left her thirsty so she got to have water with a straw and free reign to blow bubbles.

Blow Some Bubbles

Lunch was then served for Mommy and Anne Marie. She had pieces of american cheese that she decided were bandaids - kinda gross to me, but that's ok. She put them on her handprints from her placemat and then on her own arm. Then she ate the bandaids off her arm. Ewww. She thought it was funny.

Eating, or playing with, LunchCheese on my arm!Mmmm Cheese

Then on to some after-lunch reading time. I wish we had more of this delightful, dual self-entertainment on a daily basis. It didn't take too long for this scene to devolve into one of grunts, whines, "mines", and a little pushing and pulling. One day they'll get along perfectly, right?

We Read

After it was discovered that Mommy was not in the playroom, I was summoned to read with them. We opened Gram and Papa's gifts (not sure why we had Ellie wait until Anne Marie's birthday for her gift, but it didn't seem to bother her). Discovering her gift, "Helping" to open Ellie's.

New Baby Doll "Helping" Ellie

Mommy was taking so many pictures that Anne Marie had to take one too. For her first try with my camera (I think she's used Aunt Ruth's before), I thought she did pretty good. Wowee, I should probably wash that hair! :)

Mommy, by Anne Marie

While Mommy put Ellie down for her nap, Anne Marie got to "do ABCs" on mommy's computer (the starfall website). Then it was off for naptime herself. Since she's three today, she doesn't need her paci anymore (or so Mommy and Daddy say, at least). So with surprisingly few tears and delays, she fell asleep for her first intentionally paci-free nap of her little life.

The Last Paci Standing

Mommy also finally got to do something about that greasy hair - ahhh, a shower - that's better!

Mommy, showered.

After a refreshing two hour nap (nice for Mommy, too), Anne Marie had her celebratory I-napped-without-my-paci popsicle proving that while three is too big for a paci, it's not too big for the high chair when a popsicle is available!

After Nap Popsicle

More special movie while Mommy watches the vols play.

More Special Movie Time

Some sad Vol watching later, and Daddy was home. Time to go to Anne Marie's choice of dinner. Cheeseburger at Five Guys followed by birthday ice cream, having already celebrated with cake and ice cream, cupcake-disaster strawberry cake and blueberry muffins - and as many parties with people to sing to her - we're keeping it low-key and low-mess today.
** I forgot my camera when I went out - super bummed about that. So these were with my phone.

Cheeseburger Time

Birthday Ice Cream

After practically mainlining sugar into her, we made it home for a quick bath.

Bathtime CheeseMohawkSwimming

She was so hyper we allowed her just a few minutes of movie to encourage some stillness. We were getting her jammies on her when we noticed how big her belly was. Between the big cheeseburger and the big ice cream cone, she had eaten a ton - I'm not sure when she last ate this much!

Big 'Ole Belly

After her ten minutes, it was off to bed to read with Daddy.

Reading with Daddy

A quick snuggle with Mommy, a few last ditch efforts to get out of her bed, and she's down. There you have our day. Thanks for reading this far! Aside from those items or activities marked as "special" it was really not that much unlike many of our days.

Anne Marie is transforming before our eyes. It's almost as if the change from two to three has been a switch. She's able to communicate and think about things in such a new way. I've been trying to put my finger on the changes. It's as if everything she could do two months ago has been amplified. Her ideas, conversations, songs, understanding, and abilities are just more, but in a way that almost daily causes me to stop and think something along the lines of "did she just do that" or "I can't believe she said that". She's beautiful - looking so much more like a little girl everyday, no more toddler chubbiness or awkwardness. She's loving and compassionate. She's good at pushing boundaries and trying my patience, but does love to please. She's making me find out so much about myself - some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly. I look forward to this next year and the discoveries it will hold for both of us.

Happy Birthday to my sweet Anne Marie. Three years ago today I was holding a tiny, soft, beautiful girl in my arms and marveling that my journey as mother had begun. So much as happened in these three years that I feel as though the time has flown and yet, as I think of all the fun, joy, frustration, learning, discovering, consternation, and love that has taken place, time since Anne Marie's birth seems longer than time before her. I love you, darling girl.

September 10, 2008

Eleanor is One!

The day is here. One year ago we were overwhelmed with joy as we were introduced (face to face that is) to our lovely little Ellie-Girl. Even though we've been doing this for a year, I still sometimes look at her and can't believe she's really our daughter. I'd like to sit down and give this topic more time than I have right now (I'm stealing this after dinner moment while the girls play quietly in the playroom), but I want to make sure that I get this up today. As I type, Ellie is toddling toward me with a play broom alternatively swaying in the air and dragging on the ground.

Eleanor One Year

Eleanor One Year

The last "way" that I'll discuss about Ellie is her burgeoning advanced communication - more advanced than crying, that is. She's starting to parrot sounds and today has been particularly intrigued by "ba" and "ma". She will say "duck" and I think she tried to say "balloon" today. When she wakes up from her nap, often she'll say "ma ma" which melts my heart and sends me running back to her room. She will wave "bye bye" on command and knows signs for "all done" and "more" and has her cute versions of them. I just realized what her "more" sign was today... she got huge applause and many "good job, Ellie"s which filled her with obvious pride. She might be my more eager-to-please child, but that remains to be seen.

I'm a Big Girl Now


Two Sets today: Eleanor's First Walk and Eleanor's One Year Photo Shoot

Happy Birthday Dear Ellie - Happy Birthday to You!! I love you sweet girl.

September 09, 2008

Just One More Day...

Until my baby is ONE. I am rushing around so that I can go to dinner with Aunt Laura so this will be quick. Ellie loves to play. One of her favorites right now is to put something over her face so I'll say "where's Ellie?". Then she quickly pulls down her cover and has a huge smile and giggle ready. Enjoy these water play pictures and this video.




September 08, 2008

Two More Ways of Ellie-Girl

Yesterday was a little hectic to say the least... just ask Aunt Laura... so I'll list two today.

Ellie 11 Months

Ellie 11 Months

One of the sweetest things she does (other than the big, huge smiles and wet, open-mouth kisses) is patting my back. When I hold the girls to comfort them, I've always held them up to my shoulder and patted their back. They've both reached the point, at about a year, when they notice this and seem to assume that this is what people do to show love. When I hold Ellie up in this position, she'll often snuggle her face into my neck and pat my shoulder. Alternatively, and just about as cute, is that she'll play with my hair. She's a hair girl and plays with her own often (thankfully she's never been bald) but seems to really like to get her hand up into mine, too.

Ellie Playing


Secondly - she's a curious and adventuresome girl! She's all about walking, climbing, running, and chasing big sister! She loves to find trouble and seems to do it easily. One of her pleasures seems to be walking down the hallway when she's not really supposed to be there - and usually getting chased by the end of it. She's different from Anne Marie in this sense, but it's hard for me to put my finger on it. Anne Marie was very active and walked even earlier, but where Anne Marie would sit and read for what seemed like hours, Ellie is not as into books. She's on the go, yet can still entertain herself somewhat - especially if she's doing something she shouldn't. She's not that enthralled by the TV - no matter how much I wish she'd watch on long car trips. Speaking of which - she's certainly a worse car rider - and I think it has to do with the fact that she wants to be on the move on her own terms - not strapped into ours.

In the spirit of two ways, here's two photo sets for you to look over if you choose. Eleanor's 11 month photo shoot (with obvious help from big sister) and one day from around the house. I almost lost my sanity during the 11 month photo shoot so I'm glad I got at least a few good ones.

September 06, 2008

Five Days and Ways of Eleanor

My baby girl is about to turn one, so I thought I'd lead up to this big event with a little blog-focus on her. Things are crazy (as usual) but I want to make sure I get some of this precious stage in writing.

In the Chair

Here she is at the beach last week. We had a wonderful time but she's not the born beach-baby that her sister is. She enjoyed the tent and chair. Though, at one point she did heed the siren call of a shovel and pail, picking it up to join big sister and cousin in their play.

Playing in the Sand

During her earlier trips to the beach, she was more of a baby. She went where we took her and either seemed to enjoy it, or, at least, didn't have much opinion on the subject. She's now master of her own little person (and often asserts herself in many areas of her life) and decided that she did not really like the sand nor salt water on her toes, legs, hands and face. I put a few inches of water in a baby pool on the back deck. Now that was grand fun.

Don't like this on my feet

Check out some more beach pics here. I think I'll be adding some to this set later - can't remember what pics are still out there.