Eleanor Paisley

smart little Ellie

The other day Ellie said to me, "Mama, did I ever tell you about the Baby Boom?" Then she went on to explain. "All of the army men went away and the women stayed at home... then, the army men all came back and they all got married! Then they had a WHOLE bunch of babies, and so the workermen had to keep building schools, and that's why there are so many schools now."
baby fox

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Theo's been to two football practices now... and they are tough! They are an hour and a half long and the kids work solidly the whole time -- running, calisthenics, drills. They are constantly moving, constantly learning things. The coaches expect a lot from the kids (who are five and six years old!). And Theo LOVES it. He said to me this morning "You know why I like football? Because there is offense and defense and all kinds of different things!" He likes the strategy elements (I thought he would, since he loves playing strategy board games so much) and I think he likes being on a team. His favorite part is when they do "Vikings on three." (one... two... three... "Vikings!!!") He is playing on the Shawnee Mission West team, which I'm told is usually the best in the league of about twenty teams... the team last year was 17 and 0. The coach says this is because the kids are the best prepared, and after watching their practice I believe it.

Ellie had a rollerskating class yesterday up at Skate City (formerly Skateland South, where we went for skating parties at Boone School). She has been practicing on rollerblades at home too, and she is getting to be a really good skater! The skate class, "Tiny Tot Skating," is for 3-6 year olds and includes lots of games like the Limbo and Freeze skate. She had a lot of fun.

Theo has picture day at school today so hopefully I can post a new picture of him soon :)
baby fox

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I know it's been forever since I posted... let's see what's going on...

Theo started first grade. He likes it so far. He made a friend named Sierra, and his teacher, Mrs. Lahr, is nice. He lost a tooth at school the other day (his second lost tooth) but he refuses to give it to the tooth fairy... he wants to keep it forever because it's his "favorite friend."

Today is his first day of football practice, we'll see how that goes. He doesn't know much about football... the other day he told me he hoped he got to be the goalie.

Ellie isn't in kindergarten until next year but she will have music class, tumbling and dance to keep her busy til then.

We've been fixing up our family room here at our new house. We had some friends staying with us downstairs but recently they moved to Oklahoma so we got to reclaim that space. So far we've got a new tv, some new rugs, and a sectional couch for down there and we're planning to paint soon.

I've got to go now and drive Theo to school. Our new house is outside the boundaries of his elementary school but we got permission for him to keep going there as long as I drive him.

I'll try to write again soon.
baby fox

Writer's Block: Acquired taste

There was a local restaurant a few years back that served sandwiches made with peanut butter, cheddar cheese, and sliced granny smith apples. The restaurant is long gone but I still make the sandwiches myself, they are so good! Some people are dubious but most everyone I've seen try them enjoyed it.

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Beau Jo was acting all weird today and had crazy amounts of drool just falling out of his mouth -- he was a mess. I took him to the emergency vet and we figured out it was poisoning from my calla lily plant -- Beau had been chewing the leaves on it. I had no idea, but all lilies are toxic to cats! They did tests on him and got him hydrated (he was actually dehydrated from drooling so much) and he is going to be okay.
baby fox

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We'd been having a lot of stress lately what with buying a house (we close on friday, yay) and other assorted goings on so we decided to do something fun this weekend. The plan was for us to rent a suite up at the Great Wolf Lodge for Saturday night. Justin was going up there in the afternoon to check in and the kids and I would meet him up there when I got off work at five. Anyways. On the way home from work, a battery light comes on the dashboard, and things start slowing down -- the radio fizzles out, the headlights grow dim, the windshield wipers (it was snowing pretty hard by then) slowed way down. I thought I could at least make it home, but now, the car stopped all together at 74th and Metcalf, right in the middle of traffic, of course. It was getting dark and very snowy so I didn't want to stay in the stranded car, even though I always hear that's what you're supposed to do. I just was so afraid someone would not be able to see the car (the lights wouldn't come on) and we'd get hit. So I grabbed Theo and Ellie and we made it across the street and waited in someone's front yard. Chris was just a few blocks away so he came out to help, and a couple stopped to help, too. They let the kids and I wait in their car (it was super cold and snowy) while the men were able to push my car off of Metcalf and onto a side street. Then Chris gave us a ride home.

So, plan B was for Justin to drive back down from the lodge to pick up the kids and me and take us all up there... but time went by -- a couple hours -- and we didn't hear from him. We were really worried! At last he called and we found out he had driven off the road while trying to avoid a stopped car on the highway and got stuck in a ditch. His car had to be towed away and he got a ride back to the hotel.

So now we were down to zero cars! We still wanted to make it up there though so I gave Amber a call and we arranged it so that I could borrow one of her cars for the night (the one with all-wheel drive) so the kids and I were finally able to make it up to the Great Wolf Lodge. Unfortunately, we arrived a couple minutes after the water park closed for the evening, so we had a low key night but we had fun this morning. We ate a breakfast buffet at the restaurant there and spent a couple hours at the water park (I did have to buy a new swimsuit for Ellie, since I'd forgotten to pack hers).

Anyways, that's some of what's been going on...
Ellie Belle


I remember having a conversation with Amber once about cartoon characters and how silly it is that they always have to have some accessory, usually a bow but sometimes it's lipstick or a purse or whatever, to indicate the character is a girl. And it's true -- characters without obvious girly accessories are assumed to be male. Even Ellie knows this. The major exception seems to be Blue from Blue's Clues, but try telling that to Ellie! She is firmly convinced that dog is a boy.

"Trust me, Ellie. Blue is a girl," I kept saying. "Listen in the show. They always say 'she' and 'her' when they talk about Blue."

"You're thinking of Magenta," she insisted, naming one of Blue's friends who is sometimes on the show. Magenta is obviously a girl because she's, well, magenta.

"No, I'm thinking of Blue."

Ellie thought for a minute. "Well, if Blue's a girl, how come she's married to Magenta?"

"She ISN'T married to Magenta! She isn't married to anyone, she's a little kid. She goes to kindergarten." (why a pet dog goes to school is problematic in of itself, but we'll leave that one for another day).

Finally I thought to turn to youtube and find an episode of Blue's Clues to watch. After hearing "she" and "her" a few times Ellie turned to me.

"All right, Mama. I believe you... sometimes Blue is a girl. But most of the time she's a boy."

fairy ellie

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Ellie came up to me today and said, "I sure made Smokie beautiful!"

"Oh yeah? What did you do to her?" I asked, thinking in terms of pink blankets or tiaras.

"I gave her pretty nails and rosy cheeks," explained Ellie. And yes, she did -- with a bottle of pink nail polish. Poor kitty.
baby fox

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I asked Ellie what she did in music class today.

"We learned about Knob," she said.

"What's Knob?" I asked.

"You know, Knob... the famous composer." She gave me a piece of paper.

Turns out she meant Handel.

"When You Reach Me"

I just finished reading a book that I had checked out months ago and misplaced... it's called "When You Reach Me." It was great, honestly one of the best children's books I've ever read. I just hopped online to look it up on Amazon to see if other readers were as impressed by this book as I was, and what do I find out? It just won the 2010 Newberry Award, two days ago!!! Awesome!!!