Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Elsita Update - 1 June 2011

Elsita Update – 1 June 2011

Greetings grandparents and other friends of Elsa! Here’s another update, with several months’ worth of photos, on the life and times of my favorite little lady…

The baby mullet is going STRONG – we still haven’t cut her hair and have decided (I think – need to double-check this with Erin…) to wait until she turns two to consider a hair cut. After Erin recently cut her hair to donate it, and with me going with the balding/shaved head look for the foreseeable future, Elsa is the clear winner in the “longest hair in the family” category. Cute little pony tails and pig tails occasionally happen, but they don’t last long. She pulls them right out and rocks the mullet nearly all the time. Another fun hair-related fact is that for some reason only Daddy is allowed to comb her hair, so that’s a special time for the two of us.

She continues to grow up so fast. There are many times when we look at her and say “She’s so big!!!” – but there are just about as many times when we look at her and say “But she’s also still so little!”. It’s an amazing thing for Erin and me to have this tiny person living with us now, watching our every move, mimicking our behavior, repeating our words, telling us what she’s thinking, and depending on us for everything.

One of the fun new things we do is “RUN REAL FAST!” When I say that, she breaks into a huge grin and an all-out sprint, high-stepping in place for a couple of seconds while she decides which direction in which to run. I’m proud to say that Elsa definitely has some closeout speed. These days, when she takes off running, I have to run to catch up with her. She can cover some ground, so we have to keep an eye on her at all times. Also, she loves to play with any kind of ball and has a pretty good arm!

Speaking of which: She’s definitely a LEFTY!!! Writing, eating, throwing – all of them are done almost exclusively with the left hand. She gets this from both of her grandfathers.

Elsa’s favorite number – a.k.a. the only number she was willing to say for quite a while – is “TWO”. For a couple of months, whenever we counted things, Mama or Dada will say “one”, “two”, “three”, etc. and Elsa would follow along with “two”, “two”, “two”… It’s hilarious. In fact, we laughed so much that she realized it was funny and now sometimes does it just to pick on us! Then, one day several weeks ago, she caused both of our jaws to drop. The three of us were sitting there on the bed, and I was counting stuff. I said “one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight…” and Elsa calmly chimed in “nine”, without even looking up from what she was doing!!! We were like, WHAAAAAAT??? Then she did the same thing two more times in the following days. So, for the record, Elsa’s favorite number is clearly “two”, and in second place we have “nine”. In recent days I would say that “five” and “ocho” have emerged as contenders as well. Similar things have since happened with the letter “F” – the first one that she decided to say out loud with us while practicing the alphabet. These days she’s pretty strong on “O”, “M”, and “S” as well. But mostly when we say or sing the ABCs she just says “F, G, F, G” over and over.

In addition to “two”, Elsa also loves to say “tú” – Spanish for “you”. It’s one of the many words or phrases that she only says in Spanish, such as “agua” (water), “gracias” (thank you), “sí” (yes), “uva” (grape), “más” (more), “uno más” (one more), “otro/otra” (another), “uno” (one), “ocho” (eight), "bueno?" (hello? - when answering the phone), "ca-te" (for "aguacate", or avocado), "salud" (means "health" and is like saying "cheers" for a toast), and a few others I can’t think of at the moment… NOTE TO GRANDPARENTS: You need to know this list for when she comes to stay with you this week so you know what in the world she is saying!!! There are also lots of words that Elsa uses in both Spanish and English, depending on how the mood strikes her, I guess. The list includes “arriba / up”, “seis / six”, “siete / seven”, “quiero / want”, “beso / kiss”, and “te quiero / I love you”. And of course one of her favorite words these days is … “Elsa”. She talks about herself in the third person like she’s Rickey Henderson or something. Hopefully this will be a temporary thing!

Elsa keeps learning and saying new words every day. She repeats everything, and mostly does a great job with her pronunciation, though sometimes she prefers her own interpretations. For example, “gracias” still sounds a lot like “ga-ca”. Which reminds me of one last important warning for the grandparents in the area of words: You are probably going to hear Elsa say something that sounds EXACTLY like the infamous “f-word”. She is either saying “fox” or “flag” – NOT what you think she’s saying! We promise! She also surprises us just about daily with words we didn’t even know she knew. These are really fun moments. I’m always like WOOOOOOW, she is taking in so much more than we realize. It was fun when she started doing two-syllable words, and that stage passed quickly. She’s now stringing together sentences of five or six syllables on a regular basis. “I wanna go up”, “Elsa wanna go outside”, stuff like that. So fun.

In addition to reading – Elsa’s favorite word lately has been “BOOK!” – her other new favorite hobbies are basically anything she sees Mama doing around the house – such as sweeping, loading/unloading the dishwasher, watering plants, and washing dishes. Elsa LOVES to “WASH WASH WASH!!!” and soak anyone and anything in the vicinity in the process. She also loves to do puzzles, which she calls “Pieces!”, and she is OBSESSED with Elmo. We have four Elmo DVDs that Mama and Dada have pretty much memorized. Last night Elsa and I settled in to watch Game 1 of the NBA Finals and I said “We’re going to watch basketball now”. She usually enjoys watching ball games with me, but this time she just looked at me like I was making a terrible mistake and said “Nooooooo, Dada – Elmo on the TV!” It was funny.

She also loves to take a “sha-sha” (shower) now. We still give her a bath about half the time, but we’ve also discovered that it’s a lot faster to hand her to Dada in the shower. At first Elsa was not a fan of this, but then, once we added the bonus feature of splashing Mama, she really took to it. Now her “sha-sha” is a highlight of every other day or so, and though she doesn’t love the moments when water runs down her face, she tolerates them in exchange for the soap bubbles, shampoo, and bonding with / splashing either Dada or Mama.

Another favorite word these days is “baby”. She uses this to refer both to her little baby dolls – which she pushes around in a stroller, rocks, hugs, and kisses – and to the baby in Mama’s belly. Elsa definitely has some concept of the fact that Mama’s belly is growing because there’s a baby in there, and that she will soon be a big sister, though we’re not clear to what degree she understands all of this. For those of you who want to know McBaby #2’s name, well, you probably also know that we don’t plan on revealing that until the day she’s born. BUT, I will tell you that Elsa knows her sister’s name and says it frequently, so you are free to try to pry the info out of her. One good method might be to offer her a “pop pop” (lolly pop) – she LOVES those.

Elsa is really into singing and dancing lately. When the mood strikes her, she breaks into all kinds of silly dances. It’s really fun. She also likes to sing, sometimes. Sometimes I’ll try to get her to sing with me and she just says “No!” – or, my favorite, “Nope!” But other times we just sing and sing and make up silly songs about all kinds of things.

She also loves to color – on anything and everything in her path, including herself, or Dada. She’s usually pretty good about not coloring on things we ask her to avoid. And Mama is great at organizing fun art projects and creative outlets.

I’ll end with a few more fun recent stories:

Prayer: Elsa likes to say her prayers and is good about bowing her head and closing her eyes when it’s time to say a blessing before a meal. She also loves to say “Amen!” at the end – or somewhere in the middle, when she has determined that we have prayed enough. The other night she was all worked up about something, and we prayed about it, and it was really cool to see her little heart calm down instantly. I wish that worked every time! It’s a wonderful privilege to be teaching Elsa the most basic lessons about who God is, and how much God loves us.

Two Sherbies: Many of you know about Sherbet, more commonly known as Sherbie, Elsa’s favorite stuffed bear. Sherbie is SO special that we bought another one as a backup, in case anything were to happen. Well, one day Mama made the mistake of opening the closet in Elsa’s room where Elsa was able to spot Sherbie #2. She was sitting in the big chair, holding Sherbie #1, and then she just looked at us with this amazing face like “Heeeeeey, what in the world???” We were totally busted, and we can’t lie to her, so from that day forward Elsa has had TWO Sherbies. Often she is fine with just one Sherbie (or one Sherbie and Elmo, or one Sherbie and two baby dolls, or whatever), but just as often she requires the company of BOTH Sherbies in order to go about her day. So now we have the Sherbie twins, which is silly and fun.

Spanglish: Our favorite recent example of how Elsa is learning “Spanglish” was when she walked into the kitchen the other day and said to Erin “QUIERO CHEEEEEEEESE!”

What a joy to be raising this wonderful little lady! We thank you all for the prayers and encouragement that you send along on Elsa’s behalf and on ours as her parents. CAN’T WAIT to meet her little sister, which will be happening in about nine weeks or so!!!

Okay, enjoy the photos!

Elsa enjoyed her buddy/neighbor Natalia's car for several weeks. Green Monkey didn't enjoy it quite so much.

At breakfast with her "Mexican grandparents", Juanita and Jorge, when they passed through Puebla.

Rocking the pink jump suit and tennis shoes.

Ready for action!

Swinging in the park with Mama and Emerson.

Training her up early as a Braves fan.

I know you didn't just suggest that I pull for the Phillies.

Happy indeed.

With her "tiu" Raquel, who is studying in Argentina.

Another top five favorite word is "bottle", pronounced, for some reason, as "BOKKLE".

Putting on Dada's shoes is a favorite hobby.

Fun book with lots of little felt shapes to stick on the different pages - or on Dada.

Good times.

Watering the flowers with our buddy Hector.

Loves the water.

Finger painting!

Reaching for the red.

Finger painting turns to face painting.

Making Valentines to send to family.

These paint markers are really cool.

Love those lips.

Cleaning up, Elsa style.

Stickers are also very fun.

Meeting Hugo the bulldog.

Elsa telling Hugo he looks like a pig.

Pig face!

We see you, Mommy.

Got yogurt?

Putting on Dada's shoes never seems to get old.

Watering the plants.

Lucha libre, 4 vs. 1!

Working on our laptops.


Helping Mama with the dishes.

Eating with her buddy from next door, Emiliano.

At Africam Safari, questioning or protesting something...

Two creatures with the same hair! Especially when Elsa first wakes up in the morning.


Driving the van with Dada.

Lunch break!

Flower girl.

Extreme close-up!

Feeding the wallabies (small kangaroos).

Feeding the wallabies (small kangaroos).

Feeding the wallabies (small kangaroos).

Feeding the wallabies (small kangaroos).

Feeding the wallabies (small kangaroos).

Feeding the wallabies (small kangaroos).

With one of the larger red kangaroos.

At the Del Angel house in Pachuca, playing with Mocha the Beagle puppy.

Kicking that ball!


Too much cuteness for one photo!

Chowing down with her twin "Mexican cousins"!

Getting ready to do some mining in Real del Monte (also called Mineral del Monte).

The whole crew.

Riding up top. (Dada loves this.)

Fish face.

Elsa kept yelling "Jesus! Jesus!" So sweet to hear her say our Lord's name.

Elsa likes to give back rubs sometimes - so sweet!

We had a fun photo shoot on the slide - I'll let you guys add your own captions...













Dada, toys, good times.


First-ever peanut butter and jelly sandwich - a momentous occasion! (Only JIF for my princess, of course!)

Rare snuggly time.


More fun with Dada's shoes...

More fun with Dada's shoes...

More fun with Dada's shoes...

Fun with colors.

Learning to go poo poo on the potty!

Looking at the candles at the Puebla cathedral.

Eating chapulines (grasshoppers) with Daddy.


A true Cholulteca!


Gotta chew 'em up good.

I make messes like it's my job.

But how can you get upset when I look at you with these big blue eyes?

Hangin' with Kami, one of Elsa's very best buds.

Yeah, right, Dada. What ev.

Jumpin' on the trampoline with the neighbor kids.

So fun.

Elsa loves going down the big slide.

And attempting to climb up it.


Elsa go up! Elsa go up!



Love that expressive face.


She's into body art and will color all over herself - yet she hates to have her hands dirty and always wants to wash them off quickly.


War paint.

Trying to spray Dada.

No way!

Easter morning.

Opening Easter eggs.

Playing with toys. This one is possibly my favorite word in Spanish - "espantasuegras".

"Espantasuegras" means "scare mother-in-laws".

Yeah I love Play-Doh, so what's it to ya?

Front yard pool time. Reloading Dada's water gun.

Boots and Little People, you are going down.


Brushing that hair.

Fun green-only shot.


Brushing what little hair Dada has these days.

And the beard.

Pool fun with Boots (known to Elsa as Botas) and Elmo.

Markers again.

Easter eggs.

Not sure if this is a "cheese!" or an attempt to squeeze out some poo poo.


Little "traviesa".

Cracking herself up, as usual.

Notice the two different shoes.

Relaxation expert.

Love the exposed belly.

Dora. Aaaaaagain.


Goofing off.


Rocking out with Emerson.

Pig tails.



Strawberry popsicle, mmmmmmmm.

Elmo time. Love the crossed legs.


Supper with Carter and Emerson. At least I think that's Carter...

Chill out time with Dada. Notice my painted toe nails. I'm getting used to life with a house full of ladies...

These times are the best.

Not sure what was happenning on TV but it must've been pretty cool.



At our last lunch with Anna for a while - she's moving to London.

Elsa with our friend Fernanda participating in the process of making talavera pottery. This process dates back to the 1500s in Mexico, and even further en Europe. This shop is one of only 9 (or maybe 13) workshops that are certified as using the authentic, time-honored methods. Pretty cool.

Fernanda made a fun bracelet for Elsa that even matched her shirt.


We love to laugh.

Beginning of our weekend with Emerson!


Making pancakes with her hero.

Everybody had E names except for Dada...

Aftermath of fun art project followed by bath time.

Elsa cook! Elsa cook! She wanted to put on an apron like Mama.


A fun hiding game with Dada. We love to make up new games.


Best laugh in the world.

Two peas in a pod.

Apron time again.

Hanging with Sawyer. She loves being with Sawyer, but she gets really excited and plays pretty rough. One of the funniest things Elsa has done lately was when she asked Sawyer to pick her up!

For example! Thankfully Sawyer is both tough and a good sport.

Dr. Suess books are definitely our favorites.

And now we're off to make more photo-worthy memories!

1 comment:

  1. We love looking at the pics! We miss you guys! Hope you'll be in GA soon! Can't believe baby girl #2 is only 9 weeks away. We have 14 to go...crazy! Elsa is getting so big, and the mullet is awesome!! Hope to talk to you guys soon!!