Right about now, Ellie looks about like this:

Merry Christmas everyone!

Ellie and Lisa went to the nursing home last week because Santa and his rein-dogs were visiting the residents there as part of the Fairfax Pets on Wheels program. She's been talking about it all week. I don't know if she liked the dogs or Santa more.

Checking Santa out. You can never be sure how kids will react.

In this case, Ellie was pretty bored with Santa.

But by the end of the visit, they were blowing kisses to each other.

Ellie went to two birthday parties in one day. We were so tired after the first one we didn't even get any pictures of the second one.

The birthday boy didn't get anywhere near as messy as Ellie, but then again, he only had white icing to work with.

Ellie insisted that I wear the hat. I didn't mind, I know how to party!

A couple of weeks ago, we went downtown to the US Botanic Garden, where they had an interesting display going on. A series of model trains went around the Conservatory, passing by all-plant models of the Capitol, several memorials, and other Washington landmarks. The models were made entirely out of plant matter (not the trains themselves though). Ellie loved watching the trains go around.

Pretty nifty version of the Lincoln Memorial. Yes, even Abe is made out of plants.

We did not have an easy time getting Ellie's picture. Either someone got in the way, or she made a goofy face like this. That's the Smithsonian Castle in the background.

Finally, a good one!

Two good ones in a row!

Lisa had her choir practice last night, so Ellie and I went shopping for Christmas gifts. We got stuff for Lisa, and for my brother as well. This morning, I mentioned to Lisa that I had gotten my brother's present, so she could wrap it and sent it off soon. She went to go change Ellie's diaper, and came back and said "Ellie ratted you out." Apparently, Ellie told her that we got my brother's present AND Lisa's. Kid can't keep a secret I guess.
It's still not as bad as Ellie's friend, who was specifically told by her mother not to tell her father about the Christmas present they had just bought. So the first thing she says when he walks in the door: "Daddy, we got you a green tie for Christmas but it's a secret!" Must be a toddler thing.