Sunday, January 16, 2011

Elsa Update - 16 January 2011

Happy New Year! Below are several months' worth of photos to get the grandparents and other interested loved ones caught up on the life and times of Miss Elsa Lynne McDade.

Later this month she will turn one year, five months old. Fastest 17 months of my life! She is growing and changing so rapidly! I know you parents out there know what I'm talking about.

Elsa loves to talk, and while a large portion of what she says still comes out in a special language known only to her and the Holy Spirit, the proportion of actual English and Spanish words is rapidly rising. She speaks a lot more English than Spanish, since that's what we speak at home, but she definitely has certain words that she prefers to say in Spanish, for example "agua", "gracias", and "te quiero" (I love you).

As I type, she's running around the house screaming "LUUUUUUUUU-CHO!" (Lucho is our cat.) Other than "Jesus" and "Dada" and "Mama", for obvious reasons, my favorite words to hear her say are "purple" and "turtle". Sounds soooooo cute the ways she says those. I also love how she says "please", which goes something like this: "BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEYYYYYYYYZ!!!!!!" Always full throttle on the "please". Pretty funny.

Mixed in with the "Lucho" screams is the occasional "MAAAAAAAAAAAW!!!", which is Elsa's version of the cat sound. She also does dog ("woo-woo-woo"), monkey ("AH! AH! AH!"), cow ("mooo" or "woo" or "booo" or anything ending in "-ooo"), tiger ("Aaaaaaaaarrrrrr!"), sheep ("baaa"), bird ("teee! teee!"), and, my personal favorite, pig, where she puts her finger on her nose and goes "khhh, khhh, khhh!".

She says "men-a" instead of "amen" and nails some word perfectly while totally changing around others, but what should I expect? When I was little I'm told that I spoke early and mostly with freakish clarity, but I also pronounced "grandma" as "beebo" and "goldilocks" as "socksolly".

We traveled to the USA - in car!!! - for the month of December, and Elsa was a real trooper. She mostly slept or just sat quietly in her seat, and then when she started to get restless Erin would get back there with her and play games or watch movies. We're reeeeeeeeally thankful she's a good traveller. I think she's already been on eight airline flights, which for me probably happened in my mid-20s.

We LOVED watching Elsa spend time with her grandparents over the break. She has developed very sweet - and very unique - relationships with each of the six of them. It's also fun to watch THEM act silly and roll around on the floor and fall more deeply in love with their granddaughter.

It was also fun for Elsa to meet her two little cousins, Hamp and Levi. Since they were born almost exactly one year after her, we're planning to arrange a birthday bash every August. Who knows, maybe our next one will be born in August of 2011? That would be cool.*

Elsa continues to be largely fearless of physical harm, which of course is a blessing and a curse. She's always climbing on stuff ("Up! UP!!!"), not always remembering to hold on - thankfully, she has great balance and thick legs like both of her parents to hold her steady. She knocks her head on something about a dozen times a day, so she stays bruised and scratched up, but she doesn't slow down. Mostly, we like this quality. Fear is not welcome around here, so we'll just have to figure out how to instill a healthy sense of caution and she'll be good to go!

I'm trying to figure out if Elsa will end up being more introverted or extroverted. She definitely displays some tendencies from each side of that equation. She loves books and really concentrates on things, but never for too long, and she also loves people. Who knows? We shall see.

She loves to give kisses and has started giving some pretty wonderful hugs. Mama is still ranked #1, but Elsa loves her Dada a lot, too.

I know I'm probably forgetting some great stories and fun facts ... but oh well - on to the photos!

Hanging out with her good buddy Sawyer.

Eating with Mommy.

Back when she still needed help on the slide. Seems like so long ago!

Goofing off with Daddy.

Always wants to climb up the slides.

This is when I asked her to show me the letters needed to spell "duct tape". Just kidding.

Playing in the park.

We're really thankful for the great park in our neighborhood.



Checking out the goal. Will she be a soccer player? If so, will she play offense like Daddy or defense like Mommy?


My gals.

"Oh yeah, I got this."

Slightly more do-able, with a boost.


Loves the swing.

Pure joy.

On the neighbor's four-wheeler. She's great at hitting the gas. Turning, not so much.

Bath time hairstyles by Daddy.

A good look, no?

This is one of my favorite things she does; just walks up to a couch and leans back and lets out a big sigh. Then 2.7 seconds later she's going full speed again.

Looking both ways.

Asking for help down the curb.

Walking with Daddy.

I LOVE this.


"A BIRD!!!" She has always loved birds.

Checking out our massive back yard.


...with Lucho's help, of course.








Learning to use the spoon!

Always holds it upside down.

Upside down but got it to the mouth. Not bad!

So cool.

Instant classic photo, one of my faves.

Extreme close-up!

This is the kind of thing we see when we take our eyes off of her for 30 seconds and then turn back around.


GOT MILK? Another instant classic.

More climbing.

Full speed, all the time.

With Mommy at our Fall retreat.

With Mommy and Carter. Elsa loooooooves Carter.

McTrio at Malinche.

More bath time hairstyles by Daddy.

Family shot at Chignahuapan centro. A GREAT weekend trip with the in-laws and the Coopers.

At the waterfall called "La Olla" in Apulco.

This photo makes it look like she was way closer to the edge than she actually was!

Sweet kisses.

Hiking with Mama, 'Manda, and Sawyer.

Good times.

Seriously, she tries to climb EVERYTHING.

Headed out on a short hike to another waterfall.

Best buds.



Ready to get down and play with some rocks.

Family shot at "La Gloria" waterfall, also in Apulco.


Amazing. Maybe my favorite shot of her ever. At least top 50, hehe.


Isn't our Creator amazing?

Girls' club. Taking a rest (and snack) break on the streets of Cuetzalan.

Morning silly time.

The smile that melts me.

Moving in...

...and making a grab at the camera.


What a way to start the day!


Bath time with Nana. Prepare to be soaked.

The random, simple toys are the best. E.g. spatula.





Family shot in the front yard.

With Nana and Papa.

Gotta love the jean jacket.


"Who, me?"

Finger painting / snacking.

Homemade green slime by Mommy.

More spoon practice.



Check out those eyelashes.

Time to color, a.k.a. time to try to eat crayons.

Mama and Elsa having a ball.

Dada and Elsa, taking a load off.

Hanging with the other Elsa and helping Mama run the face-painting booth at Emerson's birthday party.

Watching and learning.

Making friends.


Hanging out at the Casa Verde.

With Lulis on the day of her baptism at the beach in Veracruz.

In the ocean for the first time, with Daddy and Sawyer.



LOVED the ocean. Kept trying to run deeper and deeper.

Have you ever seen anything or anyone cuter than this???

Great sand.

Not afraid to get her hands dirty.

She was upset when we had to leave.


Telling me all about it.


Halloween with Grandma while Mommy and Daddy were in Chile.

She's dressed as a piniata, in case you couldn't tell. Hand-made costume by Nana.

Kisses for 'Manda. We call this particular kiss "the face-eater".

New Chilean wool slippers. Didn't fit her for long!

Bath time with Grandma.

"Whatchutalkinbout, Willis?"

Playing chase - Mommy is "base".

Having fun.

Explaining to me why I should open the door. Clearly.

Green Monkey is a solid #2 (still well behind Sherbet the bear) in the stuffed animal rankings. What a great hug!

Traveling in style.

In the Mexico City airport, headed to the ATL for a week with the grandparents.

Explaining to Mommy the safety procedures...

...and how to use the headphones.

Monkeys and bananas.

Meeting her cousins Hamp and Levi for the first time!

Wanting so badly to wake them up with a friendly slap to the forehead.

With Grand 'Lene and Hamp (I think).

Fall family foto.


Learning the fine art of eating tater chips with Daddy.

Yum yum.

Thanksgiving with teammates and other friends.

The crew.

Always fun when these four are together.

Awesome huggy time with Emerson.

Gymnastics. This photo is from Dec. 6th - her feet touch the ground when she does this now, so it's not as fun.

Best way to watch TV, obviously.

Here we go on a 5,000-plus-mile trip to Atlanta and back for the holidays.

At the beach in south Florida.

With fake turtles at the West Palm zoo with her Aunt Andrea. There were real turtles, too.


I love this shot.

Hanging with Romeo the cat.

Loving the doggy couch. Thanks to Freddy for sharing it with her for a few days.

And check out that baby mullet!!! The only socially acceptable form of mullet, or so I'm told.

On a boat tour of the Intercoastal Waterway.

Seeing the sights.

Almost busted in a nose pick.

Breakin' the law, breakin' the law.

Two people with equal knowledge of the piano.

Putting on a silly show before bedtime.



Check out the look on her face here.

Being SILLY at Henry's restaurant (our favorite).

Not sure if this was peek-a-boo or blowing kisses.

Goofing of with Jabbo.

Did you know that shaking your head back and forth rapidly is HILARIOUS?


First night in the new house!

Perfect fit.

New wheels, serious look.

New wheels, smile.




"Wait... are all of a sudden telling me that it's OKAY to rip things?"

"Don't confuse me!"

New shades.

Yay for Christmas time.

The loot.

Nana likes her present!

"HOT!" Pronounced more like "HATHHH!"


Ready to roll ... even though she can't reach the pedals yet.

Mommy's improvised snow shoes on the first white Christmas since 1882 (at least in terms of measurable accumulation in the city of Atlanta).

The Oakley crew on Christmas night.

"Again we have to do this?"

In their Mexican hats.

Christmas lights.

I can play Mary Had A Little Lamb but that's all.

FINALLY somebody who actually knows how to work this thing.

Spinning 'round...

...and 'round...

...and crashing...

...and spinning some more.

Cracking herself - and the rest of us - up in the process.

The just woke up face. And hair.

Assuming the position on a very long road trip.

Reunited after a month away.

At the Motel 6 in Laredo.

Usually we have to tiptoe around her in the morning, but this time she was...

...OUT. We had to wake her up.

Extreme close up.


Quite a pair.

Amazing bed head.

Morning priorities. 1A = "BOT-tuuuuuul!" 1B = "MAMA!" Daddy is chopped liver for at least a half hour, sometimes all day.

Up and down the slide all by herself now.

Big girl swing!

She has to concentrate but she loves it.


So in love.

Fun on the see-saw.

With her buddy Nat from across the street...

...and Nat's Chihuahua, Rocky.

The more Elsa...

...the better, that's what I say!

* In case you haven't already heard, Erin is pregnant again! McBaby #2 due August 8th, 2011! We covet your prayers as we enter this new stage. Parents of TWO! Wow. Here's the ultrasound photo from January 12th:

We hope everyone out there is doing well - let us know what's new! So sorry we didn't get to see many of you while we were in the USA; hopefully we can catch up soon! Please pray for our ministry! Come see us! We are so thankful for our many loved ones and wish you all a wonderful 2011!

Hasta pronto,


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