January 12, 2014

Christmas 2013

We spent our first Christmas in our own home this year, which meant NO TRAVELING! While we missed being surrounded by family, we really enjoyed a relaxing, quiet holiday with just the 3 of us.

A pre-Christmas play date with Eleanor's bestie, Audrey. We're going to miss having them as neighbors!
I think my daughter looks like a cartoon character here.
Eleanor's first visit to the Zilker Park Trail of Lights. Auntie joined in the fun before she left Austin for good.

The OCD tendencies continue. E loves to sort all of her cups and bowls.
Another play date (this time with birthday buddy, Nora) at My Gym.
We thought the fanfare would help the Chiefs win the playoffs...uh,  not so much. Justin's still in mourning.

On Christmas Eve, our friends, Mark & Elisa Dennis, invited us to their home for an open house that included a special visit from Santa Claus. Eleanor was having a blast playing with the other kids and dominating all of the new toys around. Then Santa showed up, and she darted for me, clung to me with all of the life, and wouldn't even turn to look at Santa (who was about 20 feet away). Oh well, hopefully better luck next year.

Because cooking hasn't been in my repretoire while pregnant, I decided to make dinner reservations for Christmas Eve dinner. Another first for me, but it was REALLY nice not having to cook or clean. Somehow, it was a Christmas miracle, and Eleanor was on her best behavior during dinner at Olivia's. We rounded out Christmas Eve with all of us in bed by 8:15 pm - pretty glorious.

A visit from Great Great Aunt Sally and Uncle Jim and Cousin David, in town from St. Louis.
Surprise Santa visit on Christmas Eve
Eleanor was NOT having it. Clung to me like I've never seen before
A stop to visit the chickens at Olivia's before Christmas Eve dinner.
Not sure how we were blessed with A+ behavior during our "fancy" holiday dinner... we didn't question it and thanked our lucky stars
Christmas day walk on the trail. Eleanor donning her new cozy and adorable hat, made by Grammy.
Stopped to check out the ducks.
Silly girl.

We ventured to Alabama to visit Justin's parents a few days after Christmas and had more rest and relaxation there. Justin's sister, Meghan, and our niece, Elizabeth, ventured from Chicago to join in the fun. Eleanor just looooved Cousin "Bizbeth" - they were super cute together. Thanks to Papa (Eleanor's newfound name for Gampa) and Bama, I was able to study for my brokerage exam while there, and Eleanor kept busy with chasing Walter and Dixie (dogs) around the house, daily fish feedings, walks in the neighborhood, a visit to Bama's classroom, a journey to the park and Walmart, a tour of the ever-so-fancy Jasper mall, and playing with all of her new Christmas toys. Needless to say, she was spoiled rotten. Sad, though, that at the end of each day, all of the adults were completely wiped out. That daughter of ours will. not. stop.

This is an outtake from our forced photo session with Bama
Much better... Elizabeth was bribed with ice cream, and somehow we just tricked Eleanor into going outside.
The aforementioned ice cream. Cousin melodies on the piano.
Cousin love:)
A visit to Bama's classroom was a hit. Eleanor loved the play kitchen.
Testing out the rocker in Bama's room that was Daddy's when he was her age.
More food prep.
A 15 minute dinner out that consisted mostly of Eleanor running laps around the table.
"Cooking" with Bama and Walter.
Poor baby spiked a high fever the night before we left Alabama. You know she's sick when the girl that has never napped on an airplane, passed out on our laps for 45 minutes.

Unfortunately, we rounded off our 2 week holiday break with Eleanor with her getting sick. Really her only symptoms were a really high fever and complete irritability. It lasted for about 4 days, and we were spent and ready to go back to work by the time break ended. It really was wonderful having that time with Eleanor, knowing that we'll soon have to divide our time/selves with another bambino.

Confession: While Nana was solo with Eleanor the entire week and me with my head buried in books, work, and prepping to put our house on the market next week, we had very few pics of Nana and Eleanor together. Of course we realized this the last day, and Eleanor refused to cooperate with a decent pic (one without her throwing a fit). So sorry, Nana!

Eleanor and Nana hitting the gym together.
Lunch date with Nana.
Nana captured fun rain play...

Eleanor is probably the most talkative toddler I've ever come across. Not only does she have new words on an hourly basis, she talks in full sentences, tells jokes, and commentates almost everything.

: Funny/cute Ellie banter:

   * "Bless you, Walter!" when Papa and Bama's dog sneezed
   * "Mommy, I'm naked... look, heiny!" as we undressed her for her bath
   * "Oh, new one!" when referencing the new house
   * "Ah, I have an idea!"
   * "Mommy, I'm wild!" in just the right context, which is ALL THE TIME
   * "Oh my goodness!"
   * "It's messy, I'll wipe it."
   * "Nice to meet you." after shaking your hand
   * "Mommy here... Daddy here... Ellie here?" each morning over break when she woke and realized    we weren't going to work. It was novel concept to her.
   * "Silly, Mommy/Daddy/Bama/Nana...!"
   * "Bite of taco please." And upon giving her a bite, "Yum, chicken!"
   * "I drink coffee." When she sees us drinking coffee in the morning, she insists on drinking out of a coffee cup, a true Thomas.
* When asked what she wants to do for the day, she often replies, "Boys!" Oh man, we're in trouble.
* "Oh, mommy sad?" when she caught me in an emotional/hormonal moment of crying.

: New songs she'll sing (mostly) on her own - Twinkle Twinkle, ABCs, Itsy Bitsy Spider... Eleanor loves to sing!

: We're really into puzzles and buckling her baby stroller or high chair straps.

: Our daughter has quite the sense of humor and loves to make people laugh. Her music teacher has a little sketch he does where he pretends to eat pie out of his hands, and says, "This *fill in the blank - apple/pumpkin, chocolate pie* is yummy!" He'll then let the children scoop some pie out of his hand, and as they pretend eat, he asks them what kind of pie they're eating. Then, he goes back to eating pie, and making a disgusted face, he exclaims, "Ewww, this *fill in the blank - stinky sock, garbage, mud pie* is yucky!" And all of the kids explode in laughter.

Eleanor loves trying to retell this joke. As we tell her what kind of yummy pie we're eating, we ask her what kind of pie she's eating. She pretends eats from her hand and snickers, "Sock pie!" and giggles at her own joke.  Sure wish we had that on video... hard to capture in text format.

: Another joke of Eleanor's, this one she crafted on her own. Justin grew a beard over Christmas break. After it grew in, Eleanor would run her fingers through the beard and say, "Daddy beard!" Then, she'd slyly look over at me and say, "Mommy beard??" followed by chuckles. Then, "Ellie beard??" and more chuckles. 

: I'm convinced that my 2nd child will be a terror when it comes to sleeping. I can't begin to explain how lucky we are with Eleanor's sleeping habits - girl loves her sleep! What I love most about her is that she knows when she's tired and demands to go to bed (who knew this was even possible with a toddler??). Our bedtime routine is bath, then books, then bed. Oftentimes, we'll say, "Eleanor, go pick out some books to read" and she'll respond with, "No, it's night, night time" and start climbing up her crib. She's like her mommy - when I hit a wall, I have to call it. God bless this affinity for sleep - I just hope this isn't a phase and continues forever!

In very exciting Thomas Family news - we became an Aunt/Uncle again!  Proud parents, Nick & Jane, welcomed James Burleson Thomas into the family on 1/7/14. We can't wait to meet the newest Thomas!

Cutest little peanut ever. We were able to FaceTime with our nephew this weekend, and he is just as  adorable in person!