Sunday, December 30, 2012

I am handy with a needle.

Want to know about some other stuff that I crafted? Yes, you do.

Ok so Eleanor has a stocking at her grandma's house that grandma fills, but I also want her to have an at-home stocking, so I threw this together and it took approximately four episodes of Bob's Burger, which is like an hour and a half in real time.

I only quilted the front, but that gives it a nice stability and all the presents aren't poking out everywhere. Eleanor's still a baby and babies don't know nothing, so I just filled with her favorite things and she had a great time pulling them out. Pulling things out of other things is one of her favorite things.

So that turned out fantastically. On the other side of the crafting coin, I was building myself this little forest of Christmas trees for my snowmen to live in, and the first one I made out of embroidery floss which I soaked in modge podge and wound around a styrofoam cone. I kind of thought it would just slide off the cone once it was dry, but NO DICE. So I had to chisel the cone out, which gave the tree a sweet, snowy look but meant I had to destroy the cone. STYROFOAM CONES IS NOT CHEAP. Also, the tree lists a bit. There's a high wind in this forest.

And the other one, the other one. I picked up three 100-packs of thumbtacks and before I started I was like, Oh, maybe I'll have enough thumbtacks to make TWO. But 300 thumbtacks got me maybe two inches up the cone. So I went back and picked up FOUR MORE PACKS, bringing our total to seven hundred thumbtacks, and (as you can see) I ran out about two inches from the top. I don't even.

There was a third disaster involving a gold lacey placemat that I thought would turn out BEAUTIFULLY but which CANNOT EVEN STAND UNDER ITS OWN POWER. Crafting is a treacherous mistress.

Unless you are making some rabbit ears out of tights, which requires no skill or effort and turns out every time.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I love her gifts even more than I love my gifts, and I love my gifts a lot.

Let's talk about prezzents, yes? Yes.

When Joel and I were dating, I told him that Kitchen Things were inappropriate gifts because FEMINISM! YOUTH! OUTRAGE. But this year I look back on all my bests gifts and they were things like these darling, darling hedgies to measure out flour with, or serve snacks in, or just LOOK at.

LOOK AT THEM. And Joel got me this paisley knife and this little hedgie who is all like Aieeeeee rub your cheese on my back yesssssss

and our stockings were full of aged balsamic vinegars and cornbread mixes and then at a party gift exchange there were really only three or four gifts worth winning and we got two of them and one of them was various tiny hot sauces

and I was VERY EXCITED about these things and I think this all means that I'm reconciled to spending all my time in the kitchen, and liking it.

But you are here to hear about Eleanor's gifts. Baby's first Christmas! Let the list commence.

Gift That Inexplicably Had A Fabric Fold Down Below So We Re-Christened Him 'Mrs Roy': Roy, the corduroy aardvark! Eleanor likes to fall asleep biting Mrs Roy's face.

Gift That Eleanor Ignored In Favor of the Very! Exciting! Bow!: puppy towel! (Came with bath book and bath piggies, which she likes fill with water and then SHAKE.)

Speaking Of Piggies, Gift of MINE That Eleanor Has Stolen And Uses To Make Glorious Noise: piggy spatula!

Gift That She Tragically Can't Wear Until Spring Because WEATHER: this charming hat and mittens.

Gift That She Sat and Gazed Pleasedly Upon For A Long Time Before Touching Because She's Wacky Like That: one of those thingies where you press the button or turn the knob and the animal pops up. Eleanor loves pressing buttons and also closing things that are open.

Gift That We Tragically Had To Leave In BC Due To Space Restrictions, To Be Brought Over With Whoever Comes East In A Car Next: her riding bee!

See how much she loves it?

Tragic. (Also, her aunties and uncles taught her to sproing one of its sproingy antennae and go Brrrbrrrbrrbrrbrrrng. She is very good at sound effects.)

Gift That We Had To Teach Her To Use Properly Because She's Never Seen Any Of Us Talking On A Phone Before: baby phone!

Now she holds it to her ear and says 'eh-oh' into it, but at first all she would do was sit and text like a twelve-year-old.

Most Appropriate Gift On Account Of How Eleanor Is A Dragon And Also Likes Things With Texture: That's Not My Dragon.

Surprise Favorite: The box her animal books came in.

Gift That We Spent Responsibly Like Child-having Adults: cash from the great-grands.

Eleanor loves her new big-person ride. She also loves the box her new ride came in.

Babies! Boxes! Battlestar Galactica.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

She doesn't even KNOW about presents yet.

Other Things Eleanor Enjoys About Christmas Besides The Life-Sized Elf Santa:

Enormous piles of newspaper.

New and exciting hazards.

The Minter Country Gardens Christmas train.


Supervising the un-packaging of her presents.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Eleanor and Santa have peaked in their first year.

It's too bad that Eleanor is too young to remember this Christmas later because she is having a time. I haven't even gotten into the hijinks from the latter half of our visit home. But today we went to see Santa and it was the most flawless Santa-seeing experience ever.

As soon as we see Santa's village and all its sparkles and baubles Eleanor is all like, oooOOOOooo, which is a thing she learned from Felix and it is the adorablest. And then we come around the corner and there is no line and here I am, armed with toys and snacks and prepared to wait hours. And Eleanor sees Santa and is like, HI! HI! HI! HI! I think she thinks he is her Elf on the Shelf come to life.

So I plunk her down and she gives him a good stare, like she does

and I start chatting him up because there's no one waiting and I'm sort of curious what the life of a mall-Santa is like, and Eleanor finishes memorizing his face so she can look around and check out his digs

and investigate his beard (it's angora goat. His wife bought for him because the other beard was too harsh and photographed badly)

and finally she looks at me like ha ha, this guy:


Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Georgie would like to know what is in Eleanor's diaper.

Eleanor is not telling.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bath time just got a whole lot longer.

Things You Can Do With A Bath Book (In The Bath)

Eat it.

Chase the bubbles with it.

Read it.

It is a book, after all.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Such a ham-lette.

My in-laws were over for dinner last night and Eleanor was cutting it up, like she likes to do for an audience, and someone flung her dishrag over her face for a larf and we figured she'd whip it off right away because she's really into APPEARING SUDDENLY FROM BEHIND OBJECTS right now and thinks she's so sneaky. Anyway, she goes like she's going to

and then she is like, HA, psyched you out!

And then she sits there for, like, five minutes, making like she's going to pull the rag off and NOT PULLING IT OFF and everyone is laughing and the more we laugh, the more she's not touching that rag because SHE AMUSES THE POPULACE.

And then we did it all over again, like, three times. A rag on the face is the best joke anyone has ever joked and you know it.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Babies are like raccoons in a lot of ways, but primarily in their relationship to trash.

EVERYONE, hello. We are home for 'Christmas' because Joel couldn't get time off for Actual Christmas, but we are ALSO home for my sister's birthday last Friday only she didn't know, she thought we were coming in on Sunday, and you guys the lying this involved. We talk a lot, my sister and I, and one of the things we talk about OFTEN and AT LENGTH is how much time remains until we see each other again, and I kept forgetting when I was actually coming versus when she thought I was coming and it broke my mind. I was not made for subterfuge.

ANYWAY. This is Eleanor's first Christmas Outside My Body (I was, last Christmas [you may recall], the pregnantest)

and she is loving it. Lights!

Wrapping paper!

Corduroy aardvarks!

Ribbons and towels!

Late-night snuggles with Tante Gillian!

Bath piggies!

She is really into her piggies and the aardvark, but the run-away hit so far has been that ribbon. BABIES. The more they change, the more all babies would rather play with garbage than actual toys. I'm just going to wrap a piece of tinfoil and an old Christmas card up for her and put them under the tree. She'll be thrilled.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

She is the busiest bee.

Eleanor has a bunch of jobs to do every time she comes upstairs from a sleep. There is a shelf full of books to pull down, one at a time

and perhaps read.

And then there are blocks to take out of their bowl and she has ONLY JUST LEARNED that she can also put them back in.

This makes the game cyclical and means it can go on for a while.

And then she has this Little People nativity set that my mom got her, and the first few times I pulled it out for her she couldn't even PLAY with it, she was so excited she would just look at it and vibrate. But now she has to pull all the shepherds and camels and wise men out of the barn, flip them over until she finds their faces, and say 'hi.'

Meanwhile, I am reading a book or eating breakfast or something, all like, Ah yes, my child is very independent and self-actualized, etc. And then I look over and what even are you, Eleanor.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Turning food and trash into pretties.

I have been crafting up in here. I just, I really like Christmas time, and now Pinterest is a thing. I know, right? Ugh, I love it so much. I mean, I really dig cheap, lazy crafts that turn out really well, and Pinterest is a WELLSPRING of that sort of shit. So I made a wreath out of candy canes.

The tutorial is here, but you really just glue gun candy canes to each other and put a ribbon on it. Ok? And then I made icicles out of a coke bottle, and this might be the prettiest thing I've ever made out of straight garbage. Because candy canes are a Thing You Eat Or Decorate With, but a coke bottle is a Thing You Throw Out, Or Recycle If You Have Room In Your Bin. But beHOLD.

So pretty. And it took me, like, twenty minutes, and was incredibly easy and I burned myself way fewer times than I did making the candy cane wreath.

Eleanor has been an incredibly satisfying audience for all this decorating. When we come up from her nap she has to swivel her little periscope-head around the room and make sure all the decorations are still there, the tree's still there, the giant wall-stocking is still there, the nutcrackers are still there.

She used to come over and try to climb on the couch so she could cuddle me, but now she pushes my face out of the way so she can say hi to the nutcrackers. And then wrooch herself around so she can say hi to the stocking. And then the elf on the shelf.

And YES, I know, he's suuuupah creepy, but she really likes him and I love the IDEA of the elf on the shelf, and every morning you wake up and go find him because he's in a different place because he's just gotten back from reporting to Santa, but a blog I read recently was all, And because of Pinterest, just plopping him on your Lazy Boy and calling it a day is no longer sufficient, and I was like HA HA, NOPE! This elf is just going to cycle between the bookshelf, the purse-shelf, the fridge, and maybe the curtain rod. I am not going to design a little winter scene or build a cabin out of pretzels every day to put him in. Oh, and aside: I hacked mine to make his limbs bendy and give him velcro hands, but these things cost like a majillion dollars if you buy them full price. They should already have bendy limbs and velcro hands, is what I'm saying. Anyway, the eight minutes I spent playing doctor used up all my creative energy elf-wise, but Eleanor's too young to know that I'm short-changing her.

I have a few other crafts up my sleeve/half-finished in a basket somewhere, but this post doesn't have enough pictures of Eleanor it in, so here.

Don't you want to bite her face? She kind of likes it when you do.