The Lexingtonienne



I’m surprised none of you has filed a missing persons report on me. But I have good reasons for being M.I.A. from the blog. Besides the fact that it is ALMOST CHRISTMAS (!!!), I was oh-so-busy last week preparing for Eleanora’s first birthday party on Sunday.

EBD 12 months

Invitations were out. The cake was ordered. Balloons, check. Pink damask tablecloth, pink utensils, pink candy buffet – duh. Pink lemonade, pink champagne. Yes and yes.

And then there was a little hiccup in the plans. Eleanora caught the stomach bug (or “the both ends flu” as I call it) the Friday before her party. I hadn’t had a chance yet to buy her a pink birthday girl tutu or a pink poinsettia (so our house could look Christmasy and pink). But in an uncharacteristic move, I decided not to worry about those details, instead focusing on getting my baby better in time for her Sunday party and also enjoying the fact that she was willing to sit in my lap and watch Barefoot Contessa. The best laid plans, etc etc.

EBD 12 months

One quart of Pedialyte and several outfit changes later, we were on track for a full recovery and a pediatrician-approved party on Sunday. Saturday night, Mike and I cleaned the house from top to bottom. I bleached every surface, every door handle, every faucet, and every toy, just to be safe. None of that “all natural” or “organic” junk; we went for the hard stuff. CLOROX. We rearranged the furniture and set the table. I don’t know if we have ever been so prepared for guests to walk in the door.

EBD 12 months

Sunday morning I woke up early and re-mopped the floors. I did not want any crawlers going home from our house with grey knees. (Babies are worse than the “white glove test” – they’re like human Swiffers, and their knees will tell you how clean or dirty your house really is.) I set up the help-yourself drink station and made sure the birthday party playlist was ready to go. Eleanora awoke happy and feeling good – I was so glad!

EBD 12 months

And then… we went to wake up Hubba Bubba. “I don’t feel so good,” he moaned. He had caught Eleanora’s stomach bug.

Heartbroken, we had to call the party off.

Luckily, we were able to cancel the balloons before Party City had blown them up, and THANK GOODNESS, Sister had convinced me just to order pizza for the party instead of making food, and the pizza hadn’t been ordered yet. (Can you imagine if I’d had a fridge full of food to feed 40 people?) We called all our friends with only two hours before party time and told them not to come. But there was one thing that it was too late to cancel:

EBD 1st birthday cake

We had a cake for 40 people, and now there were just going to be three of us — one of whom had the stomach flu and one of whom is a baby. I stuck it in the fridge and decided to think about it later.

The following day, Monday, was Eleanora’s actual birthday. It rained. Hubba Bubba was feeling a little better, which wasn’t saying much, considering he had been deliriously feverish and violently ill on Sunday. He stayed home from work.

Unsure how to spend the birthday with wet weather (no swinging at the park, Eleanora’s favorite), a sick husband, no one wanting to meet up with us since we had the worst kind of illness in our house, and a clinging paranoia that I was next in line, we ho-hummed around trying to think of what to do with the day.

EBD 12 months

I snapped Eleanora’s 12 month photos (as you see). I took her to Party City and bought her a pink balloon. And then it occurred to me – a-ha! We’ll go to the MALL and see SANTA! I was nervous, seeing how Eleanora was afraid of her grandfather, “Binnie,” when we went to Philadelphia over Thanksgiving. Santa was effed. I was sure she would hate being thrust into the lap of a cartoonish stranger. But, undeterred due to no other ideas, I put her in her Christmas dress and headed for the mall.

Y’all. This Santa was amazing. Eleanora went right to him and happily sat in his lap. I was shocked. He asked how old she was, and I said, “Santa, today is her birthday. She’s one year old.” Santa sweetly sang her Happy Birthday, and she listened intently for the whole song.

EBD Santa 1

Then he said, “Eleanora is a very old name for such a young person. Is it a family name?” I told him yes, that she is named Eleanora after her Italian great-grandmother. And then Santa sang her a song about “Santa Lucia” IN ITALIAN. Santa needs a raise.

EBD Santa 2

“See, Eleanora?” I said. “I told you Santa is a world traveler.” She patted his beard, we thanked Santa and his helpers, and we were on our way. Operation Birthday Santa had been a welcomed success following a weekend of failures.

EBD Santa 3

Meanwhile, speaking of failures, one in particular was glaring us in the face every time we opened the refrigerator.

EBD 1st birthday cake

We couldn’t give it to anyone. I mean, would you take it? “Here, have this cake! It’s been sitting in our house but we can’t eat it because everyone’s been having diarrhea and throwing up. Want it?” Yeah, I didn’t think so.

So here is what we did with that 40-person cake:

EBD 12 months

EBD 12 months

EBD 12 months

EBD 12 months

Through all her cake eating she managed (somewhat dismissively) to answer my question, “Eleanora, how old are you?” (It’s our latest trick.)

EBD 12 months

At least we know the new cake we ordered will look good and taste good for this weekend, when the postponed party will take place.

EBD 12 months cake

What a wild year it has been. This little stranger is now someone we can’t imagine life without. My reflexes have been honed to superhero level (I can catch a dropped pacifier or a discarded sippy cup before it hits a public floor, without even looking). And I’m pretty sure I’ve already broken the world record for number of times one person has uttered, “Did you poop?”

EBD 12 months

And, as of this posting, I have not gotten the “both ends flu.” I officially feel like a mom.

Happy Birthday to our sweet Eleanora Babe.



  • Comment by Cheryl Lalonde — December 13, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    Darling Girl,
    You have arrived. You were destined to be Eleanora’s mommy, Mike’s wife, and Shae’s daughter. Celebrating (and surviving) the first year with Eleanora means you have hit the Trifecta. You’re rich.

  • Comment by Markey — December 14, 2011 @ 5:44 am

    Loved your post! Happy Birthday sweet baby! So sorry about the bug but it looks like you made the best of it. Betsey asked Santa for Lulu the Flower so I especially love seeing Lulu being such a good friend to your Eleanora! The cake is AWESOME! I can’t even imagine what this party would have looked like but there is always next year… and time FLIES. Love you and your blog 🙂 hugs!

  • Comment by Seester — December 14, 2011 @ 11:06 am

    Cutest blog post ever! Happy Birthday to precious Eleanora Babe! I love the photo of her with the cake.

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  • Comment by Laina — December 15, 2011 @ 3:02 pm

    I know this is a little bit of an odd thing to say, but I write books and one of my main characters is named Elenora, nicknamed Lennie, and it makes me giggle everytime I see your Eleanora 🙂

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