Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Happy 1st!

Elle turned one last Saturday, and we had a great day
(some might even call it magical).

Grandma and Grandpa Wright came down from Wyoming to celebrate this important milestone (the "important milestone" being a cake set in front of a 1st birthday child wearing a crown -that's how we roll around here.)
The first order of the day was to obtain the neighbor's dog "Chelsea", she was staying with us for the full week and was due to arrive that morning. Second order was Sue coming in time for the third order- Scout's soccer game.

It was a lot of fun, even though Scout's team got owned. Scout managed to show some good form though and have some good fun. She played against her new best friend "Sam". (Sam is ALL I hear about when she gets home from school everyday. His mom came over after the game and goes, "So- you're Scout's mom...". Obviously, this is a two way street.)Baby sister watching the game.

After the game, Scout had another birthday party for her preschool best friend "Amber". I suspect Amber is the culprit that got Scout obsessed with horses. Anyway, Scout headed off to that, and the rest of us went to Kneaders and then Smiths and then picked up a few pizzas for the party.

Then Cat and Booker and Sarah arrived for the actual party.

Tiny E getting fitted for her crown.
Made by her sister, and sporting Elle's favorite things: a banana and Elmo and Cookie Monster.

Scout thought it was weird that only Elle was to wear a crown, so she made one for every one in attendance:

Yes, she made one for Chelsea too- but put it on her crate and you better believe that Lola had one.

Elle sitting awkwardly wondering why we were all staring at her.

Elle's hastily made cake.
Made hastily and started at midnight.
You try doing projects like this with a five year old. I usually opt for after bed time. This came late since we had exciting guests that night.

Elle was a very timid cake monster. Believe me, it took 20 minutes to get her to touch Elmo's head.
There is video of this which is very funny, but long and until I can figure out how to edit, I won't subject you to the footage.
Now, if only I knew someone who does video editing...

Warming up to the fact that she can get her hands dirty and squish the cake all she wants.
Note the eyeless cookie monster tossed aside.

It took a while to get there, but the cake did eventually wind up in her lap.

Good job Tiny E, didn't know if you had it in you.
Sometimes I wonder if her hands were only put on her body to flutter her wrists and fingers in a ladylike manner.

Scout scored a pony hoof from the pinata at the previous party she attended.
I had to make her point with it, if only for my own amusement.

Elle and her helpers opening presents.
She got a dollar bill from grandma in that card and kept it in her fist for the rest of the present opening.

Thanks to everyone that attended and to everyone that missed out- we missed you, but knew you were there in spirit.

Happy birthday baby!

Love you! Kisses.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What Tiny E Does

It is time to do a yearly journal post for our little Elinor. This is her first one, seeing as this has been her first year, and also the fact that I just starting doing these for my girls this year.

What can I say about this little girl? For starters, she was long awaited and boy was she ever worth it. Our family has enjoyed her addition more then we can express. She has been the most content, non fussy little thing I've ever had the pleasure to meet. As a tiny baby, she hardly ever made a peep. Now that she has found her voice, she likes to be heard when needed, but it still isn't uncommon for her to be perfectly quiet and content playing with the buckle of a shoe for an hour or more. Perhaps she is content up to a fault, since it seems to be impending her need to get places. She still won't crawl, and she still curls her feet up to her body 89% of the time I try to get her to stand and put weight on her legs.

Elinor was born and we had in our minds that she would go by "Ella". Almost immediately, it was apparent that wasn't going to work for her for whatever reason, but Elle fits her like a glove. In addition to Elle, in a year she has gained the following nicknames: Tiny E, Little Little (mom and dad's personal favorite), Little E (this was born of a mistake of Scout's, confusing the former two nicknames on the list- I love it and call her that often), Ellesabubs, Smellinor (only at particular times), and Elsinore (Hamlet's castle). There are probably more, but those are on the forefront.

When Scout was in my tummy until present she has been known as "the monkey". She is indeed and it has stuck and everything but since meeting Elle, I now know that I had no idea what a monkey was. Elle embodies the moniker far more in every way then Scout EVER did. She has definitely taken it to new heights. Her feet are more hands then her hands are sometimes. They are really quite dexterous. My favorite is when she holds her bottles with her feet. It is rare, but quite a sight. Speaking of her legs and feet, she has had the cutest and funniest little legs since birth. Ever since she was about 5 weeks old, she has been totally intolerant of blankets confining them. When she was about 6 weeks old, I bought her one of those little sleep sacks and she would fight and fight those little legs and get no sleep until I would finally unzip it and free them. She also does what we call "cricket feet", which would be her rubbing them quickly against each other and make this zip zip zip noise. Cricket feet make an appearance when: she is excited, has recently gotten her shoes on (depending on her tenacity at the time, she may do cricket feet until she has cricketed at least one of the offending shoes off), when she's bored and wants to make the zip zip noise, or any time could be cricket time.

She used to hold her legs up like this all the time when she was newborn.

Scout took these. She is especially fond of Elle's legs while in the Jumparoo. She often gets the camera and take a picture of them when they strike her as being particularly cute. Or she will run and find me to have a look at them.

We shot some video of her fancy jumping, she does this every time we put her in her jumparoo. She RARELY jumps in it, if she does it is like 2 quick jumps a session. The rest of the time she has figured out a way to swing in it. The girl loves loves LOVES swinging.
Never is Elle happier then when Scout plays with her. Scout was the first one to get a belly laugh out of her and has kept her belly laughing since. Their little combined laughter is so contagious. Nothing can snap me out of a bad mood like hearing those two laugh together. Love it.

In these pictures, they were in her crib being "Wild Mustangs". They were in a cage to protect them from the tigers. Of course Elle has no idea what is going on besides the fact that Scout is in her bed with her playing and doing fun things (and letting her hold Wish Mustang). Life doesn't get much better.

I love this picture so much.

Elle has one sleeping position and one only......

Well, that's a little about Elinor. What a great year! (It's been Swellinor).

Here is a little slideshow to end the post:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A magical day

Scout - 5

This will require a little background to make sense, but it's funny so I will try to get you guys up to speed. Facts:

1. Yesterday was Elle's birthday.
2. On Scout's birthday (and about the month proceeding), she would decide she could do something (or will be able to do something) that she isn't doing now magically when she is five. Example: "Maybe when I'm five I will like that". When she did indeed turn five, what do you know- she tried it and ended up liking it. It also happened with things like the playground, something she wouldn't dare do, she got a burst of courage upon turning 5, attempted it and did it. For the most part I encouraged this practice since it was like she believed her mind expanded the second she was five and this proved to be a good thing in my eyes.
3. My parents came to town for Elle's bday, and Sue was coming too, and coming early enough to watch Scout's soccer game that day.
4. Scout's best friend Amber had a birthday party yesterday too.
5. We are dog sitting for an older couple in my neighborhood this week and "Chelsea" was due to arrive that morning shortly before the soccer game.

Ok- that should bring you up to speed.

SO- the morning of Elinor's birthday, Elle woke up at about 5 and I fed her in bed and we both fell back asleep. Scout woke up at 7 and apparently went looking for Elle. When she wasn't in her crib, came into our room. I was awakened by a poking finger on my shoulder and a news flash that it was Elle's birthday. When I responded, she went to the other side of the bed and Rob got the same treatment. Then she came back around to my side and approached the now awake Elinor and started in on her. She was convinced that Elle was going to be able to talk like a 5 year old or something. She was so confident that Elle would just repeat everything she said. She goes, "say horse" -silence. She tries again, "say candy cane" -silence. I told her that Elle will need more time and she can't just suddenly talk now and that she is pretty much how she was yesterday, except now she's one. Scout shrugs and trots off.
Later that morning.....
Scout is downstairs and so are me and Elle, I'm getting breakfast for the kids, etc. Scout is excited for the day ahead and jumping around the couch. She goes, "Today is a magical day!! Everything is magical! Grandma and Grandpa are here, Chelsea is coming, Amber's party is here, Aunt Sue is coming to my soccer game, everything is magical today-- except Elinor."

This became the joke of the day. Whenever something went right, or something fun happened or anything really- we would go, "everything is magical!" Then we would turn to Elinor and say, "except Elinor."

Speaking of Elinor's magical day-- look for posts on the subject coming soon.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

What Emily's Been Watching, August Edition

It is time once again to recap my movies this month. Yes, smarty pants- it's past time; however, September started out busy and hasn't stopped, and these posts tend to be time consuming, so yes, I put it off. The problem with it being past time, is I am having a hard time remembering the month of August and all the movies I watched then. I am also having a hard time separating my September movies from my August movies, they are bleeding together. Lesson learned. I will be keeping a list as I watch each movie and also, I will try not to put this post off.
When I think back on August, what comes to mind is a lot of what Rob refers to as "fortnight movies". Rob is positivly allergic to period piece movies. Poor guy, he has no idea what he is missing -yes he does, I made him watch a few early on in our relationship with results that were none too enthusiastic.

Here I go and I can't promise this is all of them. I wouldn't be surprised if I end up adding a few here and there when I remember an oversight.

KOLYA (1996) [PG-13]: Dramady (I guess). This was a dvd that my sister in law gave Rob and I for Christmas (year before last if you must know) and I just barely got around to watching. Maybe next month I will get to last year's movie gift from her. I thought Kolya (Kolja) looked cute and all, it just wound up in our dvd box still wrapped until I found it whilst looking for something to watch late one night. It came from the Czech Republic and won the Oscar for best foreign film that year. I enjoyed it a lot. It was really cute and beautiful, if not very predictable. Sometimes predictable is ok when you are watching a movie with the cutest little Russian boy ever, good acting, writing, beautifully done and you are reading subtitles.
It's the story of a bachelor who fancies himself as something of a ladies man, who gets into a situation that finds him the caretaker of a little Russian boy (in occupied Czech Republic- since they were occupied by the Russians, this adds to the situation). Of course he is gruff and upset he is in this predicament (I'm not going to get into the details on how he came to be caretaker, but it is believable enough). His gruffness starts to melt of course by the cute little Russian boy with the cutest little raspy voice. It has some sad moments, but nothing too sad- it is sad (but cute) to see them trying to communicate with a language barrier, and you feel sorry for Kolya knowing that he must be so scared to be with this stranger he can't understand. It doesn't get him down for long though.
I'm not going to say it was super-duper-no-way-you-can-miss-this-movie-fantastic, but it is certainly well worth a watch. I assume it's on Netflix if you are interested, or you can borrow it from me- I own it (and have finally now, watched it). Emily recommends Kolya if you like movies about bearish old bachelors that have their heart warmed by adorable kids and you aren't one of those people that refuse to watch movies with subtitles.

CRANFORD/RETURN TO CRANFORD (2007/2009) [NR]: Drama. I originally watched Cranford about a year ago and was waiting for season 2 to come out. I finally got around to renting season 2, had it in my possession, read the back and realized I had no idea who was who. The remedy to that is to rent the first season again and watch it and then watch season two. So that's what I did. I gotta tell you- I did not mind one bit. I enjoyed it even more the second time around.
Cranford was originally a recommendation from my friend Ami when she found out that I liked North and South so much (watch for that one coming in a future WEBW post). It was also written by Elizabeth Gaskell and done by the BBC (I have to wonder how sad my life would be without BBC miniseries- sad indeed.) Anyway, Surprise! It's about a town called Cranford and while it's main character would probably be Miss Matty Jenkyns (played by Dame Judi Dench), it is really more like a 19th century soap opera (without bad acting, bad camera shots and no one gets trampled by a horse or has their husband's twin's baby). It is a lot of little stories featuring people of the town that get intertwined (the stories, not the characters, well- some of the characters I suppose). I was mostly taken by it's well done humor. The first time through (a year ago) I laughed and enjoyed it, but this time I watched it, I think I was more familiar with the humor and really had a good time. Imelda Staunton is in it and she always plays her part perfectly I think. Judi Dench of course is stellar and the whole cast does a great job (when has the BBC let you down with their miniseries?- Don't answer that Ami).
Ok, I was let down a little when it came to the second season. I had just had a great time watching the first one again and popped the second season in. My first disappointment came when I found out that it only consisted of two episodes. Boo- I was ready for a full season of fun, romance and tragedy. I got over that by being grateful for what I had and was then greeted with a reintroduction to the characters that I did not care for. They seemed to have decided to make them caricatures instead by over accentuating what was funny and endearing about each one, which annoyed me to a degree. I got over that (so did they- once they figured you were reacquainted with them and their knacks, they went back to just being characters). THEN I realized that many of the beloved characters were either absent or had small roles this time. A fair amount of new characters were introduced instead (which solved the mystery of why I looked at the back of the jacket and didn't recognize most of the characters -which as already stated, led me to re renting the first season and enjoying myself immensely- so I really can't begrudge them for that. Especially since after getting over that, I found myself totally wrapped up in the new characters and forgetting all about the others anyway). So all in all, I enjoyed season two. WOW! I have a feeling that was seriously confusing, but I am tired and I am leaving it in- haha. Get through that suckers! Anyway, I heartily recommend this charming series if you like North and South, BBC miniseries, romance, drama and clever humor.

SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (1995) [PG]: Drama/Romance- it's Jane Austin y'all. Few people need to be told this is one of my all time greats. My daughter Elinor is named after Emma Thompson's character in this movie/book for goodness sakes. It's got comedy, drama, an almost flawless love story (x2), beautiful English country (beach side no less), Alan Rickman, Hugh Laurie (with very few lines, but he is still at his comic best), beautiful lighting and cinematography, I have got to say- this movie really has it all. Since it came to light in my last WEBW post that my sister in law Bronwyn hasn't seen it, I eagerly offered to watch it with her (I like how I keep talking about WEBW like I have been doing it for years). I have never NOT been in the mood to watch this movie. In fact, I'll let you in on a little secret. After watching it with B, I watched it 3 more times in the ensuing week- shhhh. Once with the commentary with Emma Thompson (who also wrote the screenplay) and a producer, and once with the commentary by Ang Lee (the director- this was his first English language movie) commentating with the director of photography. I also watched it one more time just normal. Don't judge me. I have a sickness. I have a disease. I just love this movie. Emily recommends Sense and Sensibility if you like movies. I also would like to recommend both commentaries- they are very informative and enjoyable and you are treated to stories of Ang Lee directing Emma Thompson to "look younger" and stories about fainting sheep and flatulent horses.

THE APARTMENT (1960) [NR]: Drama/dark comedy. As a listener of the Filmspotting podcast, I was urged enough to rent this movie during their Billy Wilder listener marathon. They totally talked me into it, and for that I say, "Thank you Adam and Matty!" This movie was excellent and I am sorry I hadn't seen it sooner. This was my first time seeing a movie with a young Shirley MacLaine and may I say how utterly charming and cute she was? She has kept that charm and cuteness through her life, but it was on a different level back in the day. I can't say enough about Jack Lemmon. I think he is great and the Oscar was robbed from him by Burt Lancaster (perhaps not fair of me to say, since I have never seen him in a movie, nor have I ever even heard of this movie he won for), but Lemmon is the man, and he doesn't disappoint here, in fact possibly at his best? The movie did walk away with Best Picture/director/screenplay/art direction/editing, so it did well for itself.
It's the story of a dude that is trying to get ahead in his job by loaning out his apartment to his bosses for use as a place to take their lady friends (believe it or not, but America not 50 years ago had the propriety to have hotel detectives kick out unmarried couples and refuse them rooms- and you couldn't take them home cause that's where your wife was, so a friend's apartment if you were lucky enough to score one, was your best option). Anyway, he uses this to get ahead in his job and he does, then soon finds out that the cute and charming elevator girl he is interested in is being brought to his apartment by the big boss (more like "big jerk boss"). That is all I am going to spoil you, you will have to rent it to find out what happens. This movie is so well done and very enjoyable and interesting and funny- do yourself a favor- check it out. Emily recommends The Apartment if you like American Classics, and if that's the case- this is a must see.

So no stinkers last month- hmm. Perhaps I should broaden my horizons. I will see what I can do this month.

Here are the trailers:

(I couldn't find a trailer for this movie that wasn't badly dubbed in a strange language, so I settled for this clip).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Breakfast Plate

I was on the computer and Elle was eating a pancake in the next room at the table. I kept hearing her plate hit the table and then a belly laugh. So I grabbed the ipod and got this video. Silly little thing. Scout makes a cameo at the end (you will have to ask her what "appley" means).

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Yesterday I took Scout to her first day of Kindergarten. She was greeted with the school mascot. I have to wonder if that practice scares more kids then relaxes..... She wasn't sure what she felt about him, but I was glad she was a good sport enough to let him get close for a picture. Today while we were getting ready for day two, she asked me if the cougar had be there.
Everyday when they get to class, they take their name off the board and put it in the front of the room under a question they have to answer. Yesterday was: Do you like to swim?
Scout was one of two kids that put their names in the "no" column. She likes most other things, but swimming encroaches on her ear hangup.

SOO nervous. She never cried, but I also couldn't get a smile either (besides the creepy forced smile I get when I ask her to smile and she isn't feeling it).
She goes in the afternoon track which is fine, perhaps not ideal, but better then 8. She came home yesterday all smiles and couldn't wait to go back today, so I guess I can't ask for better then that. This morning she told me that her new school was a lot like her old school. I asked why and she told me because "they both teach me a lot of easy stuff I already know"- I figure that won't last too long, but glad she is ahead instead of behind.
This everyday school thing is something I could really get used to! I am loving having three and a half hours with just Little Little. It really would have been nice last year when Elle was a newborn, but we survived just fine.

I labeled this post "firsts" since Scout had another first in the last few weeks-- ballet.
She has been talking about being a ballet dancer for years and one day last year we were at the park and ran into a girl in our ward that teaches ballet and we started talking and she said, "I don't want to seem creepy or something, but your daughter has got the perfect little ballet body- she's tall, lean and muscular". I told her that I kind of thought that and Scout has expressed interest in ballet, so I thought I would wait until she was 5 and enroll her in Jenny's studio. Jenny's ballet and performing arts portfolio is incredible including Ballet West a lot of other impressive sounding Ballet companies I haven't heard of since I don't follow ballet, and about a million ballet schools including the Berlin Ballet School. She has also danced at Radio City Music Hall with the Rocketts. Her studio, BAC - Barlow Arts Conservatory won Best in Utah 2010, so I think it's safe to say that Scout is in good hands and we are lucky to be friends with Jenny and have gotten to know her.
So, we enrolled her for the fall semester, and when it came time to go to her first class, we had a melt down. She was so scared for whatever reason and just cried that she wished ballet didn't exist. We got in the car to go and she cried herself to sleep:

I had to sit in the studio for most of the class. The first 15 minutes, Scout stood in line with the other girls and refused to move and just scowled. I couldn't decide if I was more annoyed or amused. Finally with the help of Paw Prints Glitter Stars, we got her to loosen up and dance with the rest of the class. She has been gung-ho ever since.

This picture was taken right after class (of course- since she looks happy).
Yesterday a little before dinner she did a ballet stance and asked me what it was. I am very ignorant of ballet positions so I had to tell her I didn't know. She thought about it for a minute and then goes, "oh, it's an anjule' " -I have no idea if I spelled that right, but it was so cute!-.
If I am going to have a ballet dance
r daughter, maybe I should learn a few things.

(For the record, she is 3 for 3 with falling asleep on the way to ballet- guess it's just that time of day for a 15 minute car trip).

We have also started her soccer season, but that is not a first so I will save any news there for another post.


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