I seriously can't believe that my little baby girl is officially closer to 3 years old than to 2 years old! I know people always tell you that kids grow up fast but man, it really is unbelievable! Sometimes I feel like even from one day to the next she seems so much older! These pictures are actually from when she turned 2. I thought I would share my favorites with you. My good friend Jacque took them all and I love them! I have been so busy getting ready for California I really haven't taken any pictures the past few days. Shocker right? Don't worry, I'm sure I will make up for it this weekend! :) Here are some of the things that Elena is up to:

She can do the entire ABC song, count from 1-15 by herself (she likes to leave out #14 though!), count 1-10 in Spanish, and knows pretty much all her colors in English and Spanish.

She is a shape master - she can name pretty much any shape! The other day she told me her piece of cracker was shaped like a trapezoid, seriously!

She is so loving and sweet, and she loves to give hugs all the time. (I hope that lasts for a while)

She makes new friends everywhere we go.If she sees a kid she doesn't know she will say - Look Mommy, a new friend!

She is in a size 8 shoe! Huge feet I tell you! I'm okay with this because her feet grow so fast I always get to buy new ones for her!

She is OBSESSED with traffic signs. We bought her little traffic signs for her train tracks and now it is all she points out in the car all.the.time. From the back seat we hear - "No U Turn! - One Way! - Mommy, Do Not Enter! - Rail Road Crossing, Handicapped Parking!!"

She loves to sing and makes up songs all the time. We were driving the other day and she says, Mommy, let's sign the car song. I say Ok, how does it go. She then starts singing - car, car, car - we're driving in the car!

She also thinks its hilarious to put funny words in songs. Old McDonald had a...cake! E-I-E-I-YUM! :)

She still speaks unbelievably well. Most people think she is closer to 4 years old because of how she can hold a conversation with someone and how clearly she speaks!

She can spell her name!

Tall, tall, tall. Kind of expected with a 6" Mommy but she is very tall. Especially when compared to kids her age. She is usually a good 5 inches taller! She is now about 38 inches tall and right at 30 lbs.

She has the skinniest legs I have ever seen (except possibly my mom's!) She can still fit into 12 month size bottoms as long as they are shorts, capris or skirts!

Elena is a fantastic eater! She will try everything at least once~the one exception being roast beef, to which she replied I do not want gross beef! ;)

Is an orange juice junkie - anytime of day and with any food she will request OJ.

She likes to test her boundaries and see how much she can get away with, and does give us a fantastic tantrum every once in a while!

Is potty trained - and has been for a few months now! The only time she wears a pull-up is nap and night time (still working on that).

She is also still in her crib and I am planning on leaving her there at least another 6 months or so if she lets me!

She takes a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon and sleeps 12 hours every night. She likes her sleep!

She can use a tortilla like a spoon! :) ( I think that one is in her genes!) Elena is always on the go!

The level of energy this kid has is insane, constantly running, jumping, or bouncing everywhere.

Some of her favorite things lately:
Favorite Colors - Pink and Yellow (she has stuck to these two for several months now!)
Favorite Foods - Shrimp fried rice, turkey sandwich, french fries, any kind of chicken
Favorite places to eat - Samurai, Olive Garden, Subway or Applebee's
Favorite books - Llama Llama Mad at Mama, Ladybug Girl at the Beach, she really loves all books!
Favorite songs - Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Jesus Loves Me, Old McDonald
Favorite cartoons - Dora the Explorer, Team Umizoomi, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Favorite places to go - gymnastics class, the pool at the Y, the park, Poppo and Mommo's house
Favorite toys - she is usually playing with either her dollhouse or her train tracks
Favorite desserts - cookie dough and ice cream
Happy 2.5 Baby Girl!! What a better way to celebrate than to go to Disneyland?! :) I will have some fun adventures to blog about when we get back! Hope you have a fantastic weekend!!


Special Day.

Today is a special day to me for several reasons.

1.) Little Miss Elena is 2 1/2 years old today! Unbelievable!! (I will have a post on what she is up to later)

2.) It is my blogiversary! Yup, I officially started this blog exactly 2 years and 342 posts ago! My - how many memories I have been able to capture and look back on! It is like having this amazing photo album that has a running commentary along with it! If you are thinking about a blog - DO IT! I love mine and love looking back in time! :)

and C.) It is my Dad's birthday!! We (Elena) talked him into letting us take him to dinner tonight. Elena chose Samurai (big shocker there!) and since he and my mom have never had it they were up for it! It was fantastic as always for Elena and I, my parents thought it was good - but not as amazing as I talk it up to be! ;) Whatever - it will grow on them! Lol.

The only thing my Dad requested for his birthday was a cake - yellow with chocolate frosting. Ask and you shall receive!! Elena and I whipped one up last night - Elena helped out with cleaning duties of course!
Singing Happy Birthday to Grandpa! (and helping with the candles!)
Yum! It was sooo delicious!
I actually got a few good pictures this evening - my parents - both smiling and looking at the camera!
Though I am the only one looking at the camera I think this is a really cute picture of the three of us!
A picture with my Dad and he is actually smiling!! I think the last one of these I have was way back on my wedding day! :)
Happy Birthday Dad - you are an amazing Father and Grandfather and mean the world to us! We love you!


Xavier's Birthday.

It seems like just a month or so ago that we were visiting little Xavier in the hospital - but now he is one!!! I could hardly believe it when we got his birthday invitation in the mail! He is such a little cutie ~

The most exciting thing for Elena at his party was that a furry and red friend showed up!! Yep - Elmo, and Elena was in heaven!!

Most of the kiddos were pretty fascinated with him! Even the little ones!

Of course my daughter wouldn't stop hugging him long enough to look up at me for a picture!

Xavier had a cool basketball party and a really adorable basketball shaped smash-cake. And smash her did!

It was so hard for Elena to patiently wait for her turn to get cake - I snapped this right as she was sneaking a lick off one of the basketball goals!


Of course you can't forget the pinata! This was the biggest pinata I have ever seen! Elena took a couple whacks at it but some of the big kids were able to finally bust it open.

Biggest pinata ever = most candy I have ever seen come out of a pinata ever!! Wow. They had to start giving out extra treat bags to hold all the candy!

We had a fun day celebrating with our friends!

Final Friday.

This past Friday Linds and I went to Final Friday around downtown Wichita. I don't know why we have never done this before! Free drinks, snacks, cool stores and art - how could you go wrong?! We started out at a really cool store called Bungalow 26 - where Linds and I both bought some goodies. One of Lindsay's goodies was a chocolate bacon candy bar... she thought it would be fantastic but it was a little too meaty - as she put it! No worries, we also hit up Cero's to satisfy our chocolate needs!
One main reason we decided to do Final Friday is that our good friend Jacque just opened a photography studio and was participating in the event. After a couple glasses of free wine I managed to forget to take a picture of her new place but here is her website - she is fantastic! She took some family pics and 2 year old pics of Elena for us and I love them! (The cute picture of Elena in the hat in my title is from her!) Speaking of hats - check out my cool light-up one in the pic below! Lol!
After an adorable dog exhibit at City Arts we saw some cool fire throwers in the square. That stuff is just crazy! I had talked Linds into eating at my absolute favorite place ever - Uptown Bistro - because I had just learned that they would be closing in a week!! I can't even begin to explain how sad this makes me! :( That is the one place I always ask to go for my birthday or other special nights! Apparently the fact that the restaurant was closing scared off people this evening because there was not one single person in it! Frankly, it scared us off too and we opted for Old Chicago and a little basketball madness instead. After dinner we hit up a couple more cute shops before we ended the night with a delicious glass of wine at Oeno. Anybody else think these pictures are just creepy?
I had one of the funnest Friday nights I have had in a long time! Thanks for the great date night Linds!! Can't wait til the last Friday of April to do it all again!


The Countdown.

We are going to Disneyland!! We booked our flights last Monday and are so excited! After I told Elena we were going to get to fly on an airplane to California she was ecstatic! She kept asking if we were headed to the airport anytime we got in the car! So I decided to make a little project with her to help her understand how long it would be until we left. We made a little paper chain together and wrote all the days of the week and our countdown until we get to go.
She picked out the colors and put stickers on it and looks forward to taking a link off the chain every morning! It is also helping her out with her days of the week!
She is thrilled and keeps talking about how we are going to see Mickey and all his friends and all the princesses too! I think she is most excited about actually getting to go on an airplane! The countdown is on! :)


Warming up!

It has actually been warm this past week! I mean warm-enough-for-shorts warm!!! :) So of course we have been spending some time at the park! I heard it is supposed to cool back off for the next few days - bummer! Here are some fun pics of Elena enjoying the park.

This is her new thing when she goes down the slide - almost every picture I take of her going down a slide her tongue is hanging out!

And what better way to cool off after playing at the park? With Orange Leaf of course!!


Kansas City here we come!

This past weekend Elena, Linds and I decided to go visit Lynette in KC. We always try to go see her around her birthday but we also had another reason to go -- Lynette just got engaged!!! Woo -hoo - Congratulations to her and Dave! We are so excited and couldn't wait to congratulate them in person! On the way we made a pit stop in Emporia at Starbucks. I decided to get Elena a kids hot chocolate - she was the happiest kid ever! :)

It was so cute to see her with that little cup - it made her seem so old!!

After we arrived Lynette's sisters Laura and Rachel came over and brought Laura's baby girl Ella over to play. She is the cutest, chubbiest, happiest little baby girl I have ever seen! Elena loved playing with her.
Lynette's newest addition to her family was also very cuddly this weekend - her new boston terrier pup Olive! Linds was in love!

We had a nice relaxing evening of watching college hoops, hanging out and enjoying our time together! Linds had the great idea of making Elena a fort. Elena thought this was about the coolest thing ever! I'm surprised she hasn't asked me to make her one at home yet! Good thinking Auntie Linds!
Aunt Nettie also did some nail painting for Elena~

That evening Elena had a little bit of a tough time going to bed - she wanted to be up and hanging out with the girls! I laid with her for a little bit and then left her in the room by herself for a while, when I went back in she had gotten into her bag of toys and had them all over the room and had a bag of caramel corn that she was munching on! Hilarious! This is also exactly why we haven't switched over to a big-girl bed yet! I can just imagine checking on her in the middle of the night and she be up playing with her toys!!
The next day we hung out some more and then went over to Lynette's other sister Stephanie's house to see Steph, Drew and Jensen. Elena is a little giant compare to petite little Jensen!
They had fun with each other - Jensen would watch and study everything Elena was doing. Elena sang a few songs for Jensen - Twinkle, Twinkle and Itsy Bitsy Spider - and when she was done Jensen would get the biggest smile on her face and clap. Then Elena pointed to her and said ''Look Mommy, I made her happy!'' It was the sweetest thing! :)
Steph, Linds, Lynette and I~
On the way back Elena was super tired - probably from the late night Crunch and Munch session! But she just refused to go to sleep! Finally Linds and I decided to just ignore her and sure enough after about 15 minutes of yelling at us - "IT'S NOT NAPTIME!!" she crashed out. When we turned around she was like this - still in her propped up yelling position!!

She finally relaxed and slept the rest of the way home.
It was a great little getaway to see our good friends and to be able to hang out with Lynette and start talking about wedding plans! I am so happy for her and can't wait for her big day!!


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