Thursday, October 31, 2013


We've been down with a stomach bug.

Remember last Halloween, when everyone had the Yelling Vomits except Eleanor, who dragonned happily around my parents' house because she was an infant and didn't know it was Halloween? Did I never blog about that? The other night, while I was hunched over the toilet, I was thinking, At least this isn't as bad as that time at mom and dad's when we were all so sick. (We were all of us so, so sick. My mom and my sister and I each thought, at separate times, So this is how I die.)

Anyway. E and I both awoke this morning HUNGRY and HEALTHY and PIRATEY.

We've been talking Halloween up, reading books about ghosts and ghouls and goblins. Eleanor loves a goblin. She also loves a pirate, and pink things. So.

Behold, my trusty cutlass. YARRRRRR.

And then she dropped her cutlass and had to give it a hug. Tears, she says. Cutlass a sad.

This whole outfit is things she or I already owned, plus a cutlass, plus a vest, plus a hat I made out of some fun foam this afternoon. Ran us about $5.

When Joel got home, we went trick-or-treating, and Eleanor loved it. Shy Eleanor Who Is Sometimes Reticent In New Situations stayed home, and Eleanor the Gregarious Who Keeps Up A Steady Stream of Chatter went charging from house to house.

You couldn't keep her in focus if you tried. We stopped by Walter and Gloria's first, and they invited us in for a second, so Eleanor thought that was just the drill, and the next few houses she kept trying to barge in to people's entryways.

It took maybe four houses for her to get her patter down, and then as soon as they'd open the door she'd 'trick-or-treat,' loud and clear. And then brandish her cutlass at them, and then thank them for the candy and wish them a happy Halloween. Then, on the way back down the walk, she'd say, Dat was a lady, or Dat was a man, or Dat was a ghost.

It was clear and dry and about 5 degrees. Eleanor had an extra layer on under her gear, but nobody needed mittens or scarves or balaclavas. Eleanor kept telling us how much she liked everything. I like a pumpkin! I like a trick-or-treating! I like a cutlass!

We only went up and down our block, and that took 45 minutes. Eleanor wanted to chat with every jack-o-lantern, pet every puppy, comment on the hat of every kid who was wearing a hat. We didn't even hit every house, even though Eleanor would go, Dat a lights on! Dat a pumpkin! If they didn't have a zombie butler or a giant, inflatable skull, we weren't going to bother.

Despite this choosiness, we still picked up an impressive haul.  Joel and I have already eaten all the good stuff.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Inside and out.

It's so, so cold already, and Sunday mornings are looking like the Fun Indoor Activity void in Saskatoon. The library isn't open, the Discovery Museum doesn't open until noon. We had the car yesterday, so when Eleanor started to get squirrelly we went to the mall near us. It has a fantastic play place.

We got there around 9:45 and I was hoping, best case scenario, that it opened at 10, but NO DICE. So we spent an hour walking its ghostly halls and sitting on its various toys. Eleanor doesn't care if they go or not.

I hoped against hope that the food court would be open but HAHAHAH, no. Good thing I had a granola bar in the depths of my purse.

A granola bar is not french fries. We couldn't get into the Hallmark store to hug its giant puppies, so we hugged them through the window.

The play place was closed until 11, but some of the toys communicate to the outside world.

We were fifteen minutes from Mall Opening when Eleanor lost her mind for good, and I was like, OH WELL IT IS LUNCH TIME ANYWAY and we went home. It was a successful morning in that it was a morning and we did stuff.

Hey, remember that balloon that Eleanor got from the library? She keeps holding it over her head and going, Umbrella! Raining!

And then making it jump.


It's off-screen in this one, it jumped that high.

This morning it snowed a tiny bit, but the afternoon sunned up and I finally found the box with all of Eleanor's hats and her scarf and my earmuffs (I missed those) so we went to the park. It's a six-minute walk at MOST but Eleanor insisted on walking the whole way by herself because she is big now, so it took a freezing twenty minutes.

It was so much colder than it looks. On the way home, she talked me into stopping off at the Shopper's Drug Mart because she likes to look at the skeletons and masks, and I only agreed because I was so, so cold, but I ended up buying a box of Halloween candy and a heinous mummy cat, which I have been coveting and very diligently not buying.

Whenever I complain about Eleanor being on my body all the time, Joel always says, Enjoy it, because in five years she's not even going to want to hold your hand anymore, and I'm like, THAT DAY IS NOW.

Hold my hand, infant. Do it. Mitten to mitten.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bring on the tiny Snickers.

I bought two pumpkins a few weeks ago. Every time we leave the house, Eleanor goes, HA! Pumpkins! Like she's forgotten they were there. And then when we come home she goes, Pumpkins! How are you doing? Hello, big pumpkin. Hello, li'l pumpkin.

Like, every time.

Today she and I gutted them. She meticulously

picked out

each seed.

And then I stripped them of their guts.

We (Joel and I, this time) carved them after dinner.

Obligatory knife-in-the-eye shot.

Eleanor helped by draping herself over my leg and going, Eleanor helping! Momma carving!

And then chasing a balloon that the librarian gave her this morning (they love her at the library. The children's librarians love her, but the adult librarians downstairs, they love her).

We are ready for Halloween.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Monsters make do.

We don't really have any sort of climbing structure or anything in the house for Eleanor to clamber on except the couch.

And this thing of toilet paper.

Also, the child with that hat. Like, all the time.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

She has the tiniest brazen streak.

Eleanor is a timid sort of person. She has about a ten-minute warm-up period with new people (after which she will love them derangedly, because she is also a person of Great Feeling). She likes to observe, and to learn, and to proceed with caution.

But if there is fun or balloons to be had, Eleanor is all up in there.

We went to a mom's group today that meets in a church gym, and it was basically Eleanor's best case scenario. There were toys, Josie (whom Eleanor loves beyond all reason) was there with her boys (whom Eleanor also really, really loves), and snack was grapes and cheese.

I put her down when we walked in, and stood talking to Josie for a minute, and Eleanor wandered over to these two vintage rocking horses and was like, Up? to the nearest mom. 

Like, I need to be on this horse and you are an adult lady, so. 

And then, about an hour later, I was chatting with another mom and someone brought out one of those parachutes that you all gather around and shake, and when I looked over, this was happening:


I was delighted and proud.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Chatty Cathy chats again.

I was going to write a few months ago ago about how Eleanor had started using direct and indirect articles ('the' and 'a') in her speech, and how she would just throw them in there sort of willy-nilly to see if they stuck. For a long time, 'a' has just been a placeholder for whatever word she didn't know in the sentence. 'Mama eat a lunch a Eleanor!'

She has mostly sorted them out, though she still says 'for the Mum!' when she brings me something, and then about two weeks ago she suddenly figured out pronouns, and now DERE IS A EVERYTHING.

She reads books to herself and it sounds like, Dere is a pig, and dere is a sheep, and dere is a brown one, and dere is a green one. Where a monster go? DERE he is.

She's also saying 'I'm dancing!' and 'I'm running!' sometimes instead of 'Eleanor doing it!' And I know that these are necessary and exciting cognitive developments, but Third Person Eleanor is so hilarious. It'll be like when she loses her lisp, and I'll be glad of it because she won't be made fun of by her peers, but also I will be sort of sad.

But we have these spectacular wonderful conversations now where she turns both her palms up and goes, Wherrrrre H'nuggles go? Wherrrrrre daddy go? (And then I make her guess, and then we go look in his office, or in the bathroom, or in the bed, and finally, He go a work!) And then the other day, inexplicably, Wherrrrre the floor go? And Joel and I looked at each other and shrugged, and Eleanor laughed and laughed, like she'd told the best joke.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I am thankful for the day I'm sure will come where we visit with family and nobody is sick.

I made the mistake of telling Eleanor that her Grandma and Grandpa were coming to visit, and because we are allergic to family, she promptly got sick the day before they arrived. So there was a lot of this

and this

and this

but also some of this

and this

and this

and this.

Fall! Leaves! Throwing and crunching! It's just, it's the best. Also the best? Costco pumpkin pie.

I don't even like pumpkin pie. But I was pleasantly surprised, both by the girth and the deliciousness. You can't tell because Joel has huge hands, but that is actually an enormous pie. We had it after dinner the day we bought it, then Jake and Joel had it for breakfast the next morning, then the Kruegers served it to some guests they had over while we went to a movie, and then we finished it off after our Thanksgiving duck.

DUCK. Cheaper than buying a turkey for four and a half people, and a thousand times more delicious. Eleanor was starting to pull out of her fever by Duck Day and she ate way more than her fair share. I was just so glad she was eating that I didn't care (I cared the next day when I was trying to make Duck Skillet and all I had left were meagre shards).

Eleanor is relentless about books these days, so if you come visit, she will make you read books to her until you make her stop. Grandma and Grandpa have all her books memorized by now, they read them to her so often, and when they left she looked over at me and sort of huffed, and then sat down by a pile to read to herself. She knows I'm a lost cause.