Thursday, May 27, 2010

Elsa Lynne McDade - Update - 28 May 2010

Hey everybody. Sorry so long between posts. Been busy of course. Wrapped up a great semester and now in the middle of planning for Summer, planning for Fall, keeping some Bible studies and such going in the Summer, and trying to read/rest/relax/take it down to 4th gear for a few weeks - while not getting fat in the process. I have really enjoyed a little more time with Elsa lately. I observe a direct correlation between the amount of affection with which she responds to me and the amount of time I'm able to be at home with her. She even gives me kisses now! So sweet. So without further ado, here's the update on the little one:

She's growing so fast. I've always heard people say of this stage that there's something new every day, and it's really true. On 5 de Mayo she got her first tooth. On 6 de Mayo she began crawling. Soon after that came pulling herself up on the furniture. And now she crawls so fast it's hard to believe she's only been doing it for a few days. One day she just decided to crawl up the stairs and there she went - up two stairs in the blink of an eye. Now she's starting to try standing without holding anything. Only lasts a few seconds before she falls or grabs onto something again, but walking cannot be far away. Today she climbed all the way to the top of the stairs - with Mommy spotting, of course - AND opened her first cabinet. She talks all the time but still says no "real words". Although now when we try to teach her words she concentrates and actually tries to imitate us. She makes a variety of sounds, but most everything comes out as some form of "dadadadadadadada". Which, of course, is music to my ears.

She's really becoming a little girl and not just a baby, if that makes sense. We can see her personality coming out more and more. Frighteningly, she's much like her Daddy so far. She's stubborn and fearless and impatient. She loves to eat most of what we give her, but flat-out refuses to eat the things she doesn't find tasty. Erin has been awesome about mixing in fruits with veggies. It's not uncommon for Elsa to down a bowl of pear-chayote-chicken-kiwi-peas or some other random mixture that you and I would probably find disgusting. The availability and affordability of fresh fruits and vegetables here has been a real blessing. Erin loves making Elsa's food and we've only used store-bought stuff once at the very beginning in order to get the little jars! Back to the personality: She's very studious. She's always learning and her default facial expression is one of deep concentration. Eyebrows angled down, totally in the zone. She also loves to laugh and smile; she just picks her moments. She's very social but doesn't like big crowds. She LOVES to see other little kids and always turns toward them, smiling and squealing and grunting and throwing out her arms in a way that suggests "Hey! Come be my friend!" Carter and Emerson never fail to elicit an excited response from Elsa.

As you will see in the photos, Elsa has joined the gym. It's funny to me that she has her own ID and everything. Erin joined a gym and for a few dollars more each month we were able to add Elsa, so that Erin can take advantage of the great child care while she works out. She's even able to look down into the child care area from the treadmills and elliptical machines. It's a nice setup and Erin is super-excited.

The two best bets for Elsa's future career, as of this week, are pirate or dentist. This is because it seems like her two favorite things to do these days are stick her hands in my mouth and feel around and scream "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!" at the top of her lungs. Often at the same time. She has also shown an interest, however, in gymnastics (a.k.a. she loves it when i flip her upside down and roll her on the bed), entomology (a.k.a. she loves to chase ants around the tile floor), and all things water-related (a.k.a. she would stay in the bath all day if we let her and loves to soak the whole room with her splashes).

Elsa continues to enjoy her weekly classes at My Gym. She's graduated from "Little Bundles" to "Tiny Tikes", and now the classes are much more active. Erin took her to a free trial of baby yoga with some friends the other day and that was a major failure. Let's just say that Elsa is more of a baby tai-bo kind of baby. She and yoga were not compatible in the least. Baby swimming lessons coming soon as a part of the gym membership - should be fun.

One more thing - here we are 28 de Mayo and we still just have the one tooth! It towers above the surrounding landscape of gums, standing alone. I have been unable to get a good photo of this, but it's pretty cute and funny-looking. We fully expect some more teeth any day now.

Okay two more things: For three months Elsa had the great privilege of being cared for by my cousin Erin Oakley, who came down to be her nanny. It was a beautiful time and I don't even know how to appropriately express my thanks to God and to Erin O. for this gift. The relationship between Erin O. and Elsa is so sweet and beautiful and it was just a really wonderful few weeks. THANKS, CUZ!!! Erin O. also blogs and took a ton of wonderful photos of Elsa. Check out her blog to see them.

Okay - on to the latest photos! LOTS of them, so pack a lunch.

Villa Ahumada, Chihuahua. I drove by this four times in the past two years but for some reason never noticed it before...

Sending an "I love you" back down to Puebla. It was so hard to leave Erin and Elsita for a whole week but another great Juarez house-building trip with El Pozo staff and students made it worthwhile.

Back home from my trip, just hanging out.

Ticklish ribs.

Rolling on the bed was THE favorite activity before crawling happened. It was hilarious because she could only go right. Easy to defend.


The fuzzy dome.

Always trying to grab the camera.


With buddy Carter Cooper.

With Carter.

Easter Sunday. He is risen!

Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday.

Easter, with Mommy.

An early failed attempt at pulling herself up on the toy basket.

There - much better.

Chit chat.

"Pick me up!"

Play time.

Play time.


Mommy rules.

Downtown Puebla next to the "Welcome, mice" sign. Silly.

Great shot of the hair blowing in the wind.

Snuggle time with Mommy. The best.

Hanging with the great Sue Cooper. Hey Elsa, grow up to be like this lady!

Helping Mommy with laundry.

Helping Mommy with laundry.

Helping Mommy with laundry.

Helping Mommy with laundry.


Choosing toys.

Peter Piper Pizza party.

Peter Piper Pizza party.

At Liz's graduation lunch.

Baby hawk by Daddy.

Lookin' tough.

Daddy time.

Bath time!!!

"Can I get in yet???"

Obligatory butt shot.

Hanging with Mommy.

Having fun with Moi before he left for Kenya.

Ready for some grub, as Lucho looks on.

With Anna and the BEAUTIFUL quilt she made for Elsa.

Checking out the Lucho square.

Costco lunch.

Costco lunch.

Everything goes into the mouth these days.

Playing with ice cubes = new favorite activity.



Holding hands with Daddy.

Holding hands with Daddy.

Flavor breakfast. With the shaved head we look even more alike.


Mother's Day!!!

Mother's Day!!!

Mother's Day!!!

Mother's Day!!!

At Mi Ciudad, bye bye dinner for Erin O.

Gonna miss you so much, Erin O.!!!


Check out those cheeks.


Cardboard box = great toy.

More fun with the cardboard box.

Standing up in the crib. Plotting her escape, no doubt.


Surprise visit from our old buddy Lut.

Drying off.

All good things, even bath time, must come to an end. Or so they say.

Playing while Lucho snuggles the laundry.

So much cuteness in the room.

This is Elsa's new gym membership.

Bath time again.

Rock star hair.

Daddy's shirt after bath time. We like to splash.

Crawling on the mirror.

Won't be able to do this much longer - she will smash the mirror.

Her TB scar (a.k.a. "mexi-stamp" - trademark Angie Stryker) is shaped just like a heart!!!

We climbs stairs now. Time to put the gates up.

She still thinks crayons are for eating, so we don't play with those very much...

First time opening a cabinet. Time to put the locks on.

We read somewhere that it's good to leave one cabinet unlocked for them to open and explore...

...which we are planning on doing. After we remove the pyrex and probably change out a lot of noisy metal for quieter plastic stuff.

Always exploring.

Hanging out with our friend Sam. In Utah he is known as Jack. You'll have to ask him to explain.

We play hard and we sleep hard. Saturday afternoon snoozin' while Mommy and Daddy eat chalupas and drink ice-cold Co'colas.

Until next time. Thanks to all of you who care about our family and keep us in your prayers. We love and miss you and hope to see many of you while Stateside in July.



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