Thursday, December 20, 2007

Holiday Parties

I had so much fun showing off my cute little one at holiday parties this year and it was really neat for me to see how Ellie responded in those situations. I find it interesting that she responds so drastically different to various people and I wonder what it is that causes it.

At one party she was not fussy, but was a little overwhelmed by all the grown-ups who speak in deep voices. I hadn't thought about the fact that, with the exception of Daddy and occasionally Grandpa, Ellie hasn't really had males talk to her before. And there were plenty of males at my group's holiday party (so is the nature of engineering). Ellie was fascinated, but for the most part she shyly clung to her mommy whenever someone else was close by.

However, there was an exception... Chuck. I don't know what it was about Chuck that Ellie liked, but instantly she was drawn to him. Maybe it was the fact that he spoke **to** her and not **about** her? Maybe it was his beard? I'm not sure, but she kept reaching up to touch him on his arm, shoulder, back, face... whatever she could reach. It was really strange, but neat to see her open up to a complete stranger like that.

At another holiday party, and ironically another Chuck's house, she was once again fun to show off. Most of the time we sat in the living room and she entertained herself with the toys that belonged to the host's daughter. Ellie was a happy baby. Then the host's daughter decided that she liked me. I don't know what I did to convince her that I was worth her attention, but there was a point where she came over and sat on my lap to show me a book of hers. Ellie was a few feet away from me and instantly got fussy and started pulling herself in my direction, as if to say "No, that's MY mommy!!" Fascinating.

Anyway, I had a lot of fun bringing her along on the parties. I'm so proud to be her Mommy!

And on that note... we leave to visit Pappy in Oklahoma so you won't hear from me for a week. Hopefully when I return, there'll be plenty to talk about.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Are we connecting or going crazy?

Ever since Ellie's birth, Michael and I have been having strange dreams. What's the most strange about them is that we often dream the same strange dream. For example, last night we both dreamt about working at the law firm of Boston Legal, and we haven't even watched that show for over a week now!

This has me wondering if it's a sign that we are connecting on yet another level. It's either that or we've started to show the signs of going crazy by talking in our sleep.

8 Months Later...

... and we're STILL getting bills for Ellie's birth! UGH!!! How is that possible? She was only born once! When will the craziness end??

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend of change and spit-swapping

I thought about writing multiple posts about this weekend, but then I changed my mind. I'm not sure why but it is my decision to make.

This weekend was crazy in terms of how much my little Ellie changed! Why does it seem like I am just being a mom, minding my own business, when BAM! Ellie grows up!

First, she is getting so close to crawling. So very very close. Let's not linger on that topic for too long because her mother has different thoughts on whether or not that's a good thing.

Starting over...

First, she slept through the night. Completely. She went to bed around 7:30 and didn't wake until 7:00. Usually she wakes once for a feeding. Isn't that exciting? The crazy part, though, is that she has done that 3 nights in a row!!! UMM??? HUH??? BAM! She knows night time is for sleeping, not eating!

Second, she now knows how this "reading" thing goes. We have a couple books where you read some words, then open the page to find hidden words. One example of that is Peek-A-Boo Kisses. The page starts off saying, "Peek-A-Boo, I see..." with a picture of a cat with its paws over its eyes. Then you open the page and it says, "Fuzzy cat kisses!" and you can pet the fuzzy cat. Usually when I read a book to her, she tries to eat it, but this weekend, she sat and listened patiently. Then when I opened the page and said "fuzzy cat kisses!" she leaned forward and pat the cat. Then she leaned back again and waited patiently for the next page. UMM??? HUH??? BAM!!! She knows books are for reading, not eating!

Thirdly, she's getting great at the kissing. She kisses me all the time now and is constantly sliming me with baby drool. Michael learned that if he blows gently into her mouth, she'll go in for a kiss. It's really quite adorable. I must say that I love the baby kisses, even if they leave the side of my face dripping in baby drool. I wouldn't trade these moments for the world.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It was bound to happen sometime...

It finally happened, though I wish it did not. Ellie peed on me. Yep. Pee. In fact, she did it after I turned on the bath water, which leads me to wonder if she has reached that point where the rest of us are, where the sound of running water makes us want to pee. I guess I'll consider this a milestone for her to reach. Let's check it off the list and move on please.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Let me name your baby for you

Our neighbors had their baby last week. She is just so gosh darn small! She was born at 5 pounds and 4 ounces. When I saw her I wanted to cry because she was just so precious!

They were keeping the name a secret until the baby was born. Her name is Elliana. They plan to call her Ellie for short.

Now you may be thinking that I'm writing about this because I'm upset about them having the same nickname for their daughter as we do. But I'm not. Besides, I don't even think they know we call our little one "Ellie".

But here is why I'm writing about Elliana...

When we were talking to our neighbors about the names we were thinking of, we said that our top two girls names included Elliana because we really liked the nickname "Ellie".

Their response was "Elliana, oh, I like that name", which is similar to how anyone would respond.

But 6 months later...

... well let's just say that it was an honor for them to allow us to name their first born child.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A disturbing thought...

I was kissing my baby's lips the other day, and making her laugh in the process. Then, there was a kiss where, briefly our tongues touched (don't ask me how it happened, it just did). The first thing that came to my mind was "Oh my gosh! I'm teaching my daughter how to french kiss!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

Baby Thoughts

Today's deep thought:

I know that when I think, it sounds to me like I'm talking. In other words, I think with words. I'm assuming that everyone does this.

However, if a baby can't understand words, but obviously has thoughts and feelings... What do baby thoughts sound like?

Friday, December 07, 2007

Pregnancy Induced Memory Loss

I'm beginning to realize that pregnancy has a real affect on memory. I know it's been a while since I was pregnant (can you believe it's already been 7.5 months?) but here's the deal... Apparently if I met you while I was pregnant, then I do not remember you. Do not assume that just because I pretend to know what you're talking about when you say "it's been a long time!" that I agree. Do not take it personally. Actually, since you don't know I don't know you then you probably won't.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

A rose by any other name

I'm finally starting to feel the consequences of giving my baby a unique name. Already, she has been called (typed as they sound):

Laura-lie (by a mommy in my group, who really should know us by now)
Ariel (by another mommy in my group, who again really should know our names by now)
Lori-ellie (ummm... the last e isn't pronounced... I guess it's French)
Marie-elle (I'm guessing they heard me wrong?)
Allie (instead of Ellie, innocent mistake)
Gloria (huh??)

Ok, people. I understand that it's a unique name, but please... GLORIA??? Lori-elle. Gloria. Lori-elle. Gloria. Actually, I guess I can see the connection. Not.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Product Recall

There have been so many baby toys that have been recalled recently. I am thinking (though I could be wrong) that this is always the case, but sometimes it really makes me laugh. Recently the bumbo was recalled. Why? Maybe it was the lead paint? Nope. It was recalled because parents were stupid and used it exactly as the warnings say NOT to use it. Apparently when placed on top of a counter or table, and then left unattended, a baby can fall out of the bumbo and cause serious damage hitting the floor.

Ummm... is it just me or does this strike you as stupid? I feel bad for the company who has to recall a great product just because the parents don't use it properly.

And the super funny thing about it is that soon after the recall announcement, I got lots of emails from my group of new mommies saying "Oh my gosh! I'm so not going to use this anymore!" Umm... not to sound insulting, but maybe you could just start using it on the floor instead??

It makes me wonder if I should be more concerned about things like this than I am.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sick Baby

My little girl was sick this weekend. Whether or not this was the first time is still up for debate. We've had our fussy days and our slimy days, but this was the first time that she expressed her "not feeling well" by being very... what's the word? Mopey? You know what I'm talking about... that feeling that you get when all you want to do is lay in bed all day long and never get out to eat or shower? Unfortunately for Ellie, she still can't tell me that this is how she felt, so I unknowingly forced her out of bed, forced her to get ready for the day, forced her to eat, and forced her to socialize with our company (Grandma is in town). Ugh. Who wants to do all that when you don't feel good?

Anyway, it marked the first time that my baby was content in just laying in my arms. So it was a bitter-sweet weekend. On one hand, I felt bad for her, knowing that she did not feel good at all. On the other hand, I finally got the picture perfect baby just laying in my arms, just like they are in the movies (minus the snot)!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

The grossest thing ever

This morning I found that Ellie had a layer of dried boogers covering her entire nose. I'm talking about the nose being completely encased in a nose-shaped booger shell. And let me tell you how happy it made her for me to pick it all off. Actually, let's not.

If that's not the grossest thing I've ever seen, it's at least the grossest thing I've seen today.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Laughter adds years to your life

Have you seen the Kaiser Permanente commercials? I so badly wish I could find some of them online and add links to them from my blog, but I can't.

In case you haven't seen them, the message is "laughter adds 8 years to your life" and there are a bunch of them that show babies just laughing uncontrolably about random things. One shows a baby holding a piece of newspaper and his dad pulling the other side. As the paper rips, the baby giggles and giggles and giggles. Another one shows a mom making a funny animal sound and the baby is giggling uncontrollably. I think there are 4 or 5 laughing baby commercials and they're all so incredibly adorable!

Maybe you should go watch TV until you see them! Go. Go now! They're worth the wait! If you have TIVO, just fast forward through those annoying TV shows to get to the commercials quicker.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Storm Tooter

My little one has been tooting up a storm today and coincidentally, today's word seems to be Toot. She laughs every time I say it.

Toot! Toot!

This made me think of my good friend. You know who you are. For all the other readers, please try to believe me that it's not what you think.

Toot! Toot!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

October Pictures

No lectures please. I swore I would never become one of those people who didn't have time to take 5 minutes to post picture updates, but then again I didn't realize I would ever become one of those people who had so many dang pictures of their baby! I try to force myself to only keep 175 pictures each month... those are the keepers! That's just about 6 pictures per day. Trust me, limiting myself to that many is a feat.

Anyway, here you go...

October Baby Pictures

October Pictures

No lectures please. I swore I would never become one of those people who didn't have time to take 5 minutes to post picture updates, but then again I didn't realize I would ever become one of those people who had so many dang pictures of their baby! I try to force myself to only keep 175 pictures each month... those are the keepers! That's just about 6 pictures per day. Trust me, limiting myself to that many is a feat.

Anyway, here you go...

October Pictures

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What do you do when...

... your baby's favorite toy is the yummy chewy choking hazard that comes with her sippy cup? As my husband said, there are some people who think they know how to design a good baby toy and then there are those who just have the natural talent without even trying.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Today's Deep Thought

Brought to you by the letter G...

Did you know that there are actually babies out there who are YOUNGER than my little Ellie?!? No, really! There are!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Where is Niffer?

You'll have to excuse the silence but I have been busy. I would tell you why but I can not. Sorry. Those of you who know me best could guess, but those of you who don't will have to wait to find out.

So don't you go worrying about whether or not I've been attacked by the booger sucker. No, that's only Ellie's latest worry. Not mine. She's decided that the booger sucker is just plain evil and was probably invented by the devil himself.

As for me, I wish it were that simple.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Daddy's Little Girl

My @$$

There have been many days in which Ellie wants nothing to do with the loving man in her life. She wants Mommy and she wants her now. It's physically draining for me and emotionally draining for him.

At what point does she realize that the rule is DADDY'S little girl and MOMMA'S boy?**

** Enter this into the "be careful what you ask for" category.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Pump Station

I'll try to keep this short because no one wants to read a long post talking about bathrooms. Getting straight to it, I wish the "mother rooms" at work were not all located inside bathrooms. For those who do not know, a "mother room" is a little sanctuary (ha ha ha) that I can go to when I need to pump during work. The problem with them being located inside a bathroom is that it implies that pumping is a "dirty" thing. I just wish I could disappear behind a closed door for 15-20 minutes (keep in mind, that's every couple hours) and not have people wonder if I'm constipated or fell in and in either case, shouldn't someone call for help?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Location location location... or maybe not...

Parenthood affects real estate...

Not too long ago we were driving through a neighborhood that we used to frequently drive through (when we lived in the condo). It was strange because I know I once made a comment about how I didn't like any of the houses in that area because they were all ranch style houses, yet this time I found myself saying "there are so many pretty houses in this neighborhood." I suppose that subconsciously my mind was thinking "oh, look! That house has would not require me to carry a heavy baby up a flight of stairs, let alone two flights! I like it!"

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

No longer in the running

I'm no longer in the running for Mother of the Year Award. I forgot to feed my baby this morning. Sigh. There's always next year.

The magic touch

Daddy has an amazing ability to calm Ellie back to sleep. When she wakes up crying and doesn't seem to be able to put herself back to sleep.

First, he will go into her room and pick her up.
Then he will hold her and gently rub her back.
Next, he will sit in the glider and calmly sing to her in a very relaxing voice.

And she hates it! She screams bloody murder.

Finally he will put her back into the crib, and she is so grateful to be back that she falls asleep peacefully. Works like a charm. I don't know how he does it.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

What they don't tell you about breast feeding

If you're thinking about taking up breast feeding (like I keep recommending), there are a few annoying things that they don't tell you in the books...*

1. You never know how much Baby eats. Really, the only way to determine if she is getting enough food is to verify she's gaining weight. Trust me, regardless of how much you try to reassure yourself, this is always in question.

2. Your baby will most likely not sleep through the night without waking for 1 or 2 feeds until (enter unknown age here), even though his bottle-fed babies do at a much earlier age. Babies need about 30 oz of milk a day, and it's easy to make sure a bottle-fed babies get this amount while the sun is out. If only the breasts worked the same way.

3. Even when your baby DOES finally sleep more, you will not. You will be in lumpy pain. And if not, you will be lying in a wet puddle. Neither are as much fun as they sound.

4. Teething is more painful for the baby. What? Huh? Yes. You heard me. Apparently sucking at the breast makes the already sensitive gums hurt more than a bottle does. I guess it makes sense because sucking at the breast is more difficult. It requires more effort, so maybe more suction? Either way, your heart will be broken when your baby looks at you with the "Mommy, I'm hungry, but it hurts!" look.

* and of course, subject to my own opinion.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Proper sandwich eating etiquette

I told Ellie's daddy that he eats his sandwiches wrong. Everyone knows that you are supposed to eat the crust first so that you are left with a crust-free yummy sandwich. Once I reminded him of that, he said "well then in that case, yes I am eating my sandwich wrong." His improper method was to ensure that each bite had a piece of crust in it. Silly boy.

I wonder what method Ellie will adopt. What sort of silly little traits is she going to get from her Daddy and which normal* traits will she adopt from me? Will she eat her entire apples like he does, core and seeds included? I mean, come on! Who does that??

* Disclaimer - Everything I do is normal and I'm sure there are studies out there with statistics to prove it. Don't believe me? Just ask me.

Another comment on the hat...

We wore our funky cute hat to daycare today and there was a little girl (age 3) who saw us come in and said "Look, Mommy, doesn't Ellie look a-door-bell with that hat on?"

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Are you still alive?

The other day Michael was admitting to me that he often wonders if the baby is still alive. This made me feel so much better because I was thinking it was silly of me to wonder that myself as often as I do.

I used to think that parents who worry about their baby still breathing at night were just over-reacting. That may still be the case, but I'm one of them now. Most of the time I don't actually go in and check because I do acknowledge that the chances of something going wrong are slim.

But the thought "is my baby still alive?" does go through our heads more often than we'd like to admit. I guess that's one good thing about teething... it removes any such doubt. lol.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

WARNING: The following images contain high levels of cuteness and may not be appropriate for women of childbearing age.

When it comes down to deciding what to be for Halloween, Ellie gave it much thought...


A pumpkin...


Or maybe a flower...


Perhaps a pea in a pod...


Heck no! I'm an octopus!

What do you mean an octopus doesn't need to hold its breath? I'm under water, aren't I?

I know all about being an octopus, like I know an octopus eats fish! I'm good at that!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Black is not the new pink

I bought Ellie a cute black shirt with pink and silver flowers and butterflies on it. It's adorable, as all baby clothes are, but I chose it because I liked the fact that it wasn't your standard pink baby clothing.

I learned my lesson. Black is not meant to be worn by infants. Infants spit up much more than I ever gave them credit for. Apparently such spit up conveniently rubs into and disappears on pink clothing, but no such luck on black.

Maybe there's actually a scientific reason for pink and blue being the main colors for baby clothing... those specialists must know these things already.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Milk - it does the body good

At my dentist appointment (the first since Ellie was born) the dental hygienist was surprised to see how good I looked and commented on the weight I've lost since having the baby (other than the "well duh" weight). I proudly admitted that I am now 5 pounds less than what I was when I first got pregnant.

I've always known that breast feeding would be good for my body, but I thought it would stop at the weight.

Moving on to start the dental portion of my dental appointment, she discovered that the mysterious staining on my teeth had disappeared. Six months ago she had written that I had "moderate" staining even though we couldn't figure out why because at the time I wasn't drinking tea because of the pregnancy. Now I drink 3-5 cups of dark tea a day. Go figure.

Continuing with the fun, she says my gums are healthier too. Whoo hoo! However, I stopped flossing once the baby was born. Go figure.

So in the end she looked at me in confusion and said "well I guess my advice is keep drinking the tea and don't floss."

Maybe, just maybe* it is because I'm breast feeding. Really, you should give it a try sometime.

* Probably not

Friday, October 26, 2007

Yesterday's Lesson

Hahaha... Oh man, you guys. You have no idea how horribly sad and yet so funny yesterday was. Ellie was pooping up a storm, but it was the first time that she had big-girl poop. Every time she needed to go, she would go through the following steps:

1. Tense the entire body
2. Concentrate
3. Squinch up the face
4. Hold breath
5. Push against anything within reach
6. Turn bright red
7. Start to cry
8. Release the tension
9. Cry some more
10. Hug Mommy to recover

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Today's Lesson*

Today Baby Ellie is learning about constipation. Hopefully, if all goes well, we will also learn about prunes. Fun.

This lesson has been brought to you by the number 2.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

How rude!

Last Sunday Ellie found her tongue. And by that I mean she discovered that not only could she lick the inside of her mouth but she could also lick the outside of her mouth. All day long she had her tongue sticking out. When a stranger would approach her and say "oh, you're such a cutie" her response was to stick her tongue out at the newcomer. I swear my baby isn't being rude, she's just saying "look what I can do!"

As for me, I couldn't stop laughing. She seemed so incredibly proud of her tongue. She would stick it out and then when she noticed someone paying attention to her, she'd get this proud look on her face and stick it out with more confidence. She got a real kick out of it when Mommy stuck her own tongue out in response. It turned out to be a whole family adventure.

Since she spent the majority of the day with her tongue on the outside of her mouth, I couldn't quite tell if she was copying me when I did it first or not. If so, it would be the first REAL sign of her trying to immitate me.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

We have a plan

Last Friday we were talking about how we should decide exactly what we're going to do for sleep training now that Ellie is 6 months old. After some discussion, we came to the following plan:

1. Continue what we're doing (feeding and soothing every time she wakes) for one week.

2. In the mean time we're going to try to feed the baby more often in hopes of making sure she gets enough food during the day.

3. Starting next Friday we will only feed her once when she wakes at 1:00 AM or later. Other than that, she needs to put herself back to sleep.

So Friday we went to bed all confident in our decision and our plan.

Friday night she slept until 1:00 AM. Then she ate and slept all the way until 7:00.

Huh. Maybe she heard us talking about the plan.

Saturday night she slept until 5:30 AM. Yes. You heard me right. 5:30 AM !!!! Then she ate and slept until 7:15.

Huh. Does she not know that we were planning on starting the sleep training next week? But way to be ahead of the game, Baby!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Can you imagine anything sadder?

I was telling a friend of mine about how heart breaking it is to see Ellie look at me when she was getting 6 month shots as though she was saying "Why Mommy? Why are they doing this to me?"

She told me about how her daughter got sick when she was young (around the time that she started talking, so I think 1ish??) and they had to draw blood from her. Apparently she was moving around so much that the nurses had to put the needle in many times. In the end, both her parents were holding her down on the table and she was crying "Mommy! Daddy! All done! All done! Bye-bye! All done!"

OH MY GOD. How horrible is that? Just the thought of Ellie going through and saying something like that brings tears to my eyes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A Great Day

Today we went to another pumpkin patch with Ellie. This time, though, we didn't really go for the pumpkin pictures (just wait until you see how cute those are!!). We just went for the pumpkin festival. We were nervous about it because the farm is a ways away, but it ended up being a perfect day. Ellie slept the hour out there, we stayed for over 3 hours and she slept the hour back. She's one exhausted baby! All in all, it ended up being just about a perfect day for the family.

I'm posting pictures because one of the things that made today so great (besides for the wonderful weather and just all-around beautiful setting) was Ellie's hat. Let's face it, it's not your typical baby hat... but I loved it from the moment I saw it. Our friend made it for us, and I wanted her to know just how many comments we got on it. Everyone loved her hat! We were told that it was the cutest hat on the cutest baby. I love seeing how people think she's cute from afar (meaning they don't actually tell me, but I still see their reactions), and we must have had at least a dozen people actually come up to us and comment on it.

I know it's petty of me, but I love it when people think my baby is so cute! So, thanks Cheryl for helping us have a wonderful day! You should really try to do more of this stuff.

Friday, October 19, 2007

With technology these days...

Every time we go to the pediatrician I can't help but wonder why, in this day and age of over-engineered cup holders and piece-of-$#!+ vacuums, they can't come up with a better way to weigh babies. All it would take would be to have a padded scale - you could zero out the weight of the padding. Or, better yet, why not measure the weight of the parents holding the baby and then again when they're not holding her? Anything would be better than the bare piece of metal they place her on (ok, ok, they are kind of enough to place a single paper towel under her, but still)!!!

P.S. Our 6-month check-up went well. 6 MONTHS!!! Let me repeat that once more in hopes of having it sink in... 6 MONTHS. Nope. That didn't work.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Sitting Pretty

I don't think I told you yet...

The daycare provides us with a summary of each day, which is nice. The first day summary (yes, I know, that was a LONG time ago... over a month ago, I know. Get off my case!) went something like this:

ellie really enjoyed sitting and playing with her toys.

My thought to that? Huh. I didn't know she could sit. Maybe I should start practicing that with her. So, the next day I did just that... I sat her down in front of a bunch of toys, expecting to have to prop her up to prevent her from toppling over.

Nope. She sat like a pro. Weird. I guess we'll check that off our list of things to accomplish. =)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy unbirthday!

Today marks Ellie's official unbirthday. Can you believe that 6 months have already passed?

I am really enjoying being a mother now. Ellie is getting to be more fun every day.

Just a few examples...

The other night Michael was washing her face with a diaper wipe (she had gotten avocado up her nose and everything). Every time the cold damp cloth hit her face, she would gasp and suck air in. Then she would laugh. We got it on video. Gasp. Laugh. Gasp. Laugh. It was one of those moments for me.

Another example that is a little related is her gasping from surprise when we squirt her with air from one of her bath toys. She doesn't know where it's coming from or when it will happen, so her reactions are quite entertaining.

She also laughed a bunch once when I decided to sing our bedtime song quietly close to her ear instead of standing up like I usually do.

She loves Counting Kisses and almost always giggles for "7 loud kisses on a pretty belly button".

She loves being upside down. Carrying her by her legs, dangling, keeps her satisfied for moments longer even if she's cranky.

She is fascinated by the cats and I think she might actually be learning the concept of petting instead of grabbing.

She loves our evening walks and seems to always get excited for them.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tooth Debut

The tooth has arrived! This is a very exciting time for us. After all that pain and suffering, not to mention yet another horrible night, we now have something solid to show for it. Woo hoo!

When something momentous like this happens, it really makes you sit back and think about life. Well, after taking it all in and considering it for a moment or two, I can't help but continue to think one thought. One deep and meaningful thought...

We have to go through this 19 more times? Are you kidding me?! What king of sick joke is this??

Monday, October 15, 2007

Tooth ache 3

The good news is that I'm not a bad mom.*

The bad news is that my baby had another cranky night due to teething. She's getting closer now. Instead of just a bump on her gums, it feels more bony like a real tooth. Still, no white showing yet though.

The poor little one. She just doesn't want to be left alone at night when she isn't feeling good. And I've learned that her whimpering is more heart-breaking than her all-out cry. The all-out-cry has been heard enough from the early days of hating the car seat that I guess I've lost some sensitivity to that. When she whimpers, though, oh man. That's difficult for me to watch. Instead of the "I'm pissed so I'll piss everyone in hearing distance off as well", it's more of a "I'm hurting but I'm trying not to complain too much" feel to it.

And if it's a trick, she's reached a new low because of it. I'll have to figure out where she's getting these horrible ideas that work so well.

* Disclaimer - Or am I? The morning after super-cranky night I did find her in the fullest, overflowing diaper yet. Maybe that's what was really upsetting her. I hate variables.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's starting to sink in now...

I'm beginning to realize something.

I'm a mother.

I know, I know. It comes as a shock to all of us, but here's the deal... I have to feed this little girl! No, listen to me... I have to feed this little girl FOOD. Do you realize what that means? It means that I have to PREPARE the food. I have never done such a thing for even myself, let alone someone else.

And now you see the REAL reason we have waited 6 months to introduce solids to Ellie. Laziness. Oh we can always fall back on the books that say that limiting a baby's diet to breast milk until their 6 months old is the best for the baby's health, but we know the truth. We just use that whole "best for baby" as an excuse.

The truth is it's so much easier to just stick her to the breast when she's hungry. That food source is readily available. No preparation needed. Heck, you don't even need a bib! Gone are the days where I thought bibs were pointless.

Sigh. I liked being a lazy @$$.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Avocado Popcicles, Take II

You may not want to read this next paragraph.

Ellie just had her first real poop. What was it like? It seemed to take more effort on her part, that's for sure. Once I started my duties (you know, the diaper changing sorts) I found out exactly what it was like. They say that baby poop looks like the food they eat. I just didn't know they meant it literally. Yep. It was the same gross looking green glob of avocado-like substance. Only this time it smelt bad.

Avocado anyone? I may never look at guacamole quite the same again.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Mmm... avocado popcicles

Today marks the first day that we left solids with the baby at daycare.

So far we've only introduced two things to Ellie's diet - rice cereal and avocado. Mmmm.... avocado. Yummy. My favorite.

I don't know how many people out there are avocado-savvy but in case you're not... mushed up avocado looks gross. Putting this mush into ice cube trays* is even more yucky. Freezing the green ice cube mush makes it even more appalling. Thawing this frozen mush is just disgusting. Apparently frozen avocado looks like gross old avocado (you know, how it gets dark green when it's not fresh... still good to eat, just not fresh?).

Just so we're on the same page, if you blend up an avocado then freeze it into an ice cube then thaw it again... you end up with a dark green lump of gross turd looking baby food. Yummy.

And yes, this is what we decided to bring to the daycare. I figured it's a good way to make an impression on our ability to feed our baby solid foods.

* FYI, ice cube trays are used because each cube provides one nice little baby-sized portion. This way, we can make a food once and store it for multiple quick cube-sized feedings.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cry Baby

It occured to me just now that Ellie really doesn't cry too much anymore. Sure there is still the occasional car seat ride that doesn't go smoothly, but even that is much less extreme than it used to be. She cries when she refuses the bottle, but that's happening less and less now too. She cries a little when she's tired, but that's more being fussy than anything else. Other than that... she's really actually quite a well behaved little baby (especially when we're out in the exotic places that public has to offer). Additionally, she's been so full of smiles since starting daycare and that's been a real treat for us.

What made me finally realize this? My poor little girl jabbed herself in her eye with her finger and it HURT! I haven't heard a cry like that in a long time. You should be relieved to know that she still has her healthy set of lungs, so they are available for such special occasions.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Tooth Ache 2

I certainly hope that her waking up early in the middle of the night incredibly upset really is due to teething because if it's not... then maybe I really am a bad mom. Hahaha. The poor little baby.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tooth Aches 1*

We think little Ellie is getting a tooth. Last Friday she was super fussy and barely ate or slept at daycare. When we got her home, we noticed a bump on her gums. Yesterday she repeated her behavoir for me. The poor little baby... she was in a good mood, easily distracted but you could tell that something was bothering her. And then there were the naps - they were all over the place. Her schedule and routine were WAY off.

Last night she woke up very upset and it took us a long time to calm her down. I feel so bad for her because she obviously wants to be comforted and wants me to make it all better. But I can't. There isn't really anything I can do and it breaks my heart. It's a good thing that she most likely won't remember how miserable she is now. I think it's just as hard on her mom, if not harder. I have to remind myself that just because my baby is teething does not mean I am a bad mother. =)

* I can only assume that this post is the first of many to come, so why not start numbering them now? =)

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Balloon Physics 101

We gave Ellie her first helium balloon a couple days ago. She loved it. She grabbed it and then of course tried to stick the entire thing into her mouth. After a short while, she dropped the balloon... the balloon went up (like balloons often do)... and looked down and around for it.

Hehehehe... at least we know she understands gravity.

September came and went...

Can you believe it's already October???

Here's a bunch of pictures that I'm sure you'll like. And to think that I actually thought that I didn't have very many pictures of her this month!!!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Nice to taste you

Can you imagine what the world must be like for an small infant? Everything new that she is introduced to ends up in her mouth. Hmmm... keys? Let's see how they taste! Hmmm... you call this toilet paper? How does it taste? Oh, you placed a book in my hand... forget the story line, pass the salt!

Seriously, what kind of world is that when your sense of taste is one of your more exciting senses? What age do we lose that? I think I would place taste at the bottom of the totem pole of senses, but I'm pretty sure it tops the chart for Ellie.

Friday, September 28, 2007

One down, nine to go...

I chopped off my baby's finger yesterday.

Well, maybe it was just the tip but it certainly bled a lot!

Ok, "a lot" may be a relative term, but it did bleed!

I'll admit, others may not have noticed the blood, but still I felt bad.

Ok, here's the full story:
I cut my baby's finger nails yesterday for the first time (I've been biting them off in fear of cutting her fingers). And of course, on the last finger... she moved. Then cried. Then bled.

I learned something about bandaids yesterday... they're wasted on babies.
Bandaid 1 - used to cover cut finger
Bandaid 2 - used on opposite hand to detract baby's attention from bandaid 1
Bandaid 3 - used to keep bandaid 1 in place
All were off within 5 minutes - tops.

Luckily the bleeding seemed to stop when she finally decided to move on with her life and play with the orange tiger (if only we all had an orange tiger). Luckily for me, I think I'm in the clear - if she tries to show someone how her mom cut off her finger, most likely it will be mistaken as reaching for something instead. Whew. Close one.

And for the flat-tipped finger? I figure if it's needed, she can always go to physical therapy to learn how to play the piano with her disability.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bladder Massage

As a baby who likes to be held (and really, who can blame her), Ellie ends up doing a lot of standing on my stomach. She remains content longer if she's playing with her toys while sitting or standing on me than if she were sitting or standing on the floor. For as much as this results in me complaining about the effects it has on my bladder, Michael reassures me that the medical benefits of bladder massage will never be fully understood.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Shameful Confession

Continuing my story...

"Chip" was trying to sympathize with me by saying "That must have been really difficult having to pour all that bad milk down the drain."

My response to this?
"... uh... um... not really. I haven't poured it out yet."

Yes, there you have it. I confess that I still have 60 or so oz of possibly bad milk in the freezer. Do I know it's bad? No. Do I ever plan on using it? No. Should I just toss it? Yes.

But it hurts too much to toss. I have issues. Thanks, Chip, for the reminder.

An Embarassing Confession

A couple days ago I was catching up with a colleague and much to my surprise I found out that he reads my blog! And he's the second colleague to admit to it! I do not go out of my way to have people read it, but I do find it easier to show updated pictures by just showing people the ones I've posted. Anyway... apparently some people actually keep a link to my page and have been reading all my entries.

This doesn't really bother me, but I have found myself in a position where I wonder just how many people do read these entries and how many of those are the guys I work with on a semi-regular basis.

Oh well, the damage is done.

And to continue causing this damage... when colleague 1 (we'll call him Chip) was talking to me about how he never knew that women experienced the same uncomfortable effects that cows do when they don't get milked often enough (add that to the list of conversations I never thought I'd have at work)... colleague 2 (we'll call him Doogie) came into the office and asked what we were talking about. I responded "oh, I keep a blog about silly little thoughts." Doogie, being the nice guy he is, showed interest so I of course showed him the blog.

Ugh. I of course showed him the blog, not remembering that the latest post was titled "The return of the boobs". Sigh. I'm sure that was more information than Doogie bargained for.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

That's my name too!

You would not believe it, but I met someone recently who has a new (4 month old) niece named Loriella! LORIELLA. Hey, that's not fair! Michael and I specifically picked the name because it would be unique. We got it first! Taking an A onto the end of it doesn't fool anyone!

The funny thing is that I don't know which I like better. They're nicknaming the girl Ella instead of Ellie, which I think is adorable. However, Loriella has 4 syllables (I know you can count), which I think is a bit too long. But hmmmm... did I pick the right name?

Either way, it actually kindof upset me to know that there is another baby out there with a similar name. My mom claims that when she named me, she thought Jennifer was the most uncommon name she could come up with, and look where that got her! She knew she was in trouble when she took me to my first pediatian appointment and the nurse came out and said "Jennifer?" and all three mothers in the lobby stood up.

Do you think that's going to happen to me? Please no. Not me.

Monday, September 24, 2007

The return of the boobs

The little one slept from 7:30 to 4:15 AM, and damn! These things can be used as weapons! No, seriously, I'm talking about an extension of the kind of "weapon" you might be thinking they're already be used as. If a bad guy got too close to these things, I could knock him out. Imagine how safe the streets would be if every police officer was equipped with two of these babies!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The brain is a funny thing

Since getting back to work I've noticed a few strange things things about auto-typing (you know, like auto-pilot, only not).

1. I type phonetically. Instead of typing "one" I type "won".
2. When I type my password, it's almost always an old password from over a year ago, not the one I had before leaving on maternity leave.

At least I should be grateful for still typing quickly. Go me.


I decided to write this post today because it occured to me that I can still count on one hand the number of things that have scared my baby (to the point of crying).

1. Auntie Erin's dog barked and woke Ellie up with a startle.
2. Air brakes on a shuttle bus while picking up Daddy from work.
3. Air brakes on a bus at the airport.
4. Mommy blowing her nose (I try not to take that one personally).
5. Daddy giving her a rasberry on her back (she was attacked from behind!).

I guess gone are the days where she just jumps when surprised, but doesn't actually cry. I suppose that's what happens when you start becoming aware of the fact that there is a whole world of stuff out there!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

One huge step backward, 4 big steps forward

At 5 months of age, I believe that Ellie is sleeping through the night again, like she did before going to Colorado. Whoohoo! Finally!

Here's what happened:

After returning form Colorado, for two and a half weeks she would only sleep an hour at a time. Often it would be 15 minutes at a time. You try getting sleep if you have to get up every 15 minutes to put a baby back to sleep. We once got desperate and tried to let her cry it out but that lasted 2 hours! Ugh.

Finally, she got to the point where she would sleep 3 hours at a time again. Obviously this wasn't as good as the 7-9 pre-Colorado times, but it was a significant improvement.

Last night marked the 3rd night in a row that she slept 7 hours! Woohoo! Go baby, go baby! I've even been able to get a small stock-pile of milk stored because of this!

So it has taken us a month and a half to get back to where we were pre-Colorado... but even that's not true. We're ahead of pre-Colorado because of the following MAJOR accomplishments:

1. She is no longer swaddled at night.
2. She has recently been putting herself to sleep.

It's still not perfect. Supposedly a baby her age should be able to sleep 10-12 hour stretches, but at this point I'm not complaining. I think we're pretty lucky to find ourselves at this point without having to do any real sleep training. Go baby, go baby! It's your birthday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Can't we all just be friends?

This last weekend we were going to attack the 3:00 AM feeding that Ellie has gotten herself in the habit of needing. Her current schedule is: bed at 7:30, wake and feed at 12:00, wake and feed at 3:00, wake somewhere between 5:00 and 7:00. It's not nearly as nice as what it was before taking her to CO, but we're managing.

Anyway... Operation Attack 3:00 Feeding did not end up happening because we keep going back and forth on "fix the feeding first" vs "learn to put herself to sleep first". As a compromise, we ended up spending hours at the bookstore looking up our options for sleep training.

At the bookstore, we met an older lady who said that you really need to let the baby cry it out or getting them to fall asleep on their own doesn't work. She said that the book she used with her kids was great and was written by "Farber, I think". Oh yes, Dr Ferber. He's the father of the concept of "cry it out", which essentially means that you let the baby cry herself to sleep and in a couple days she learns to put herself to sleep. The theory is "more short-term tears, fewer tears in the long run."

After this lady left us, we were approached by another, younger woman. She said "I overheard you saying you were thinking of Ferberizing your baby and I wanted to plead with you not to do it. I would hate to have to cry myself to sleep thinking that no one out there cared for me." She recommended a book by Dr Sears. Oh yes, Dr Sears. He's the father of the concept of "no cry", which essentially means that you do everything in your power to prevent your baby from crying, even if it means sleeping with them or waking up every hour to feed. If this idea bothers you, then you just need an attitude adjustment.

Come on, folks!? Can't we all just get along? Just because Ferber lets his baby cry for a couple nights does not mean the baby will need counseling because his mommy and daddy didn't love him enough. Nor does it mean Sears' baby will still be sleeping in his parents' bed when he graduates and goes off to college.

Ugh. Unfortunately any book we find with a middle of the road attitude ends up lacking specific alternatives. Once again I have to realize that there are no instruction manuals for this little bundle of jiggles.

P.S. Funny thing about lady #2 was that I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt and asked her "oh, what technique did you use to get your baby to sleep through the night?" Her response was "Oh, she doesn't. She's 10 months old and still wakes every hour and sleeps with me, but at least she knows I love her." Ummm... yeah. Let's not touch that one.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

An Honest Moment

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

I love that quote. Always have and always will.

I have a friend who asked me to keep her informed on how having a baby affects my career and today I have come across a related dilemma. It's no secret that I want to move back to Colorado. I have always wanted to be close to my family and friends when I raise my children and now that I am a mother, obviously that time is approaching, if not already here.

However, as you will soon see... it's not easy leaving. Take a look at the videos I've added to the right of my blog. They are videos of the prosthetic arms that I worked on. I wish I could show you some better ones, but alas I'm sadly restricted to only what's available in the public domain (and to be honest, I was surprised to see so much because a couple of these were only presented a month ago and only in one location).

Point is this... You have to admit that a project like that is a "once in a life time" sort of thing to work on. How rewarding it is to see Jesse and Claudia move their arms like that again! It's humbling to know that I was involved in making it happen. I doubt anyone can watch those videos and blame me for extending my stay in Maryland like I have.

Yesterday the Branch Head held a meeting and talked about the upcoming projects we are going to be involved in. Many of them are extentions of the prosthetic arm (there are so many applications for this new technology!) but there are other extremely interesting projects as well. And they all fit under the "do the world good by improving the quality of life" category that makes my soul sing.

So, my friend, I must tell you that the biggest way in which having a baby is affecting my career is just that... do I choose my family or do I choose to save the world? It's a tough one. Really. I wouldn't want to have to be the one to decide. Would you?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Life as a working cow

Well, I'm starting my third week of work and I bet you're wondering what I think of being back and since it's Monday morning I will try to keep it short:

1. I miss Ellie. It is so hard for me to wait the entire 8 hours before leaving to pick her up again. I doubt this surprises anyone.

2. Pumping bites. I'm pumping every hour or two. How am I supposed to get anything done with a schedule like that? I can see why a lot of working moms give up breast feeding. I feel like the only thing I've accomplished at work is pumping 15 oz every day. Moo.

3. I think daycare is good for Ellie because, in general, she's been a lot easier to get to smile since starting daycare. So yay!

4. It's very apparent that I have already lost a good portion of my adult vocabulary. When I talk to Ellie, she doesn't care what I say. Heck, she doesn't even care if I say real words, just as long as the sound that comes out is entertaining. This method doesn't work so well when conversing with coworkers.

5. I'm bored. Things are slow at work and I haven't gotten any real project to work on yet. Do you realize how long the day is when you're bored?

6. It's too bad there isn't a sleep budget I can charge to when I'm feeling exhausted from dealing with a baby that doesn't sleep nearly as well as I know she's capable of.

7. I was hoping to make it to 10 things on this list, but like I said, it's Monday morning and I have a baby who doesn't sleep like I know she's capable of. Give me a break.

Friday, September 14, 2007

She ain't a farm girl

I thought that Ellie was getting tired of the limited number of songs I know the words to. She should count herself lucky that I know 5 songs! Please don't remind me that three of them of the same melody (Twinkle Twinkle, Bah Bah Black Sheep, and ABC's) because as long as the words are different, dammit, they count!

Anyway... because I'm sure there is a limited amount of time before she realizes that ABCs doesn't really contain words, I figured I'd try to expand my playlist when, with delight, I realized that I knew the words to Old McDonald!

Sadly, though, Ellie hates Old McDonald. She hates his farm. She hates his cows and their moo moos here. She hates his sheep and their baa baas there. And here a cluck and there a quack, yep she hates them too. She even hates the pigs and their oink oinks everywhere.

Bummer. I do think, though, that I should still get credit for knowing the lyrics!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Boob update

I'm not sure when it happened, but I noticed the other night that I was sleeping on my stomach! You don't understand. Let me repeat myself. I was sleeping on my stomach! I wasn't even doing anything to prop myself up to take the pressure off my chest. I was completely sleeping on my stomach. WOW! I thought the day would never come and it turns out it came and went and I didn't notice when. Go figure.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Princess Ellie

This last weekend we went to the Renaissance Festival, which is something I always enjoy doing every year. At the festival, an elf sneezed on Ellie and I swear we're still trying to get the green glitter out of her hair. I'm hoping she plans on wearing green to her senior prom!

We were also told that it only takes 10 minutes to cast a baby's butt. We're putting that one on the list of things we don't need to ever hear again.

But when all is said and done, of course I had to make Ellie into a princess and get great pictures of her. Look how cute she is! Oh my god! I have a cute baby!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Abs of Flab

Tell me the truth, should I be embarrassed by the fact that my almost 4.5 month old daughter can do a better stomach crunch than I? Sigh.

Good luck baby

Last weekend when we were in Green Bay for a wedding, I got a kick out of how people responded to the baby. There were so many people who would shake her feet on their way out of the church. Instead of rubbing Budda's belly, just shake our little baby's feet and you'll have a long and prosperous life.

I decided to include a picture of the wedding cake just because it might be the only thing I've taken a picture of other than my daughter, so it must be worthy of comment. Is this not the perfect image of a wedding cake that every little girl dreams about having, but no bride really ends up wanting??? It must have cost a fortune!

PS On a related note... Happy anniversary to Ellie's parents! It's hard to believe that it's been 3 years since we had a much much much less extravagant cake of our own!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Too Small

Last week when I was packing for Green Bay I came across the first outfit that Ellie never wore. It was a super cute purple onesie that was size 0-3 months. It tugged at my heart strings because she would have been so cute in it and I thought for sure that I'd never allow an outfit to go unworn.

In my defense, it's not my fault. I have a system. I put all the clothes away in piles according to sizes, and somehow, someone (it could have been me, but I'll blame everyone else instead) put the onesie into the 6 month pile. And because of their mistake, I was left to realize how big my baby is getting. I hate it when I have to put more clothes into the "Too Small" box.

Big News!

I officially got down to my pre-pregnancy weight this morning, which is sadly still 7 pounds above what I want to be. That's not to say that my body looks the same as it did, because it doesn't. That seems strange to me. However, I did manage to take off the weight. So yay! Please, no applause. Just throw money. =)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

August Pictures

You would not believe how hard it is for me to cut down the number of pictures we take of Ellie to 255 per month. That's my goal, but the older she gets, the cuter she gets. I think I deserve a cookie for being able to limit myself like this, and to think... I only included 62 of them for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, September 07, 2007

You used to be that small

I remember our first pediatrician appointment. Ellie was only 4 days old (we had to go in daily because of her jaundice). There was a mother there who had a 5 month old little girl and she quietly told the girl "you used to be that small". I remember thinking proudly "yes, look at how perfectly cute and small my girl is."

Earlier this week I stopped by the doctor's office to pick up some paperwork for daycare. I saw a newborn girl, only 6 days old, who was born at 6 lbs 3 oz. I quietly told Ellie "you used to be that small" and I saw the new mother smile. Sigh. I'm now the mother of a big baby. Still perfectly cute, but no longer small.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

White Gold down the drain

We have over 100 oz of breast milk frozen in the freezer. I've been proud of my stock and we planned to use it to help feed Ellie when she started daycare since I will most likely produce less as I pump.

The thing that sucks most about parenting must be all the books. Every book says something different and the book we went by said that freshly pumped milk was good for 5 days in the fridge. So I happily pump my way along and when I got to 10 oz or 5 days, I would freeze a new bag of milk.

Bad milk. I now know that. The book that my sister is learning from says that freshly pumped milk should be frozen if not used in 48 hours. UGH!

I have no idea how much of my milk stock is bad but I do know the oldest bag was. I am hoping that not all of it is and I know that at some point I started freezing it sooner than 5 days. But it's so damn frustrating!

Instead of giving the daycare frozen milk, I now need to thaw it myself to make sure it's not bad. What would the daycare think if I gave them bad milk to feed my precious little bundle???

UGH. It just kills me to think of how much wasted milk it might end up being.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

How are you?

Some questions should just be banned.

No, seriously. When is that question a good one to ask? If things are going well, you always get the "Fine" answer. If things aren't going well, you get the "Fine" answer.

For me, you get the "Fine" accomanied by tears.

I've never been good at holding back the tears, especially if someone shows any ounce of sympathy.

I have been back at work now for 2 hours and 2 minutes and it's going to be a long long day...

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Traveling with Baby

As I mentioned yesterday, we all went to Green Bay for the weekend. Traveling with Michael was significantly nicer than traveling alone, as it always was even before Ellie came into our lives. Really, he just had an amazing ability to get her to calm down or sleep during the flights. Oh, don't get me wrong... she still cried. And still cried a lot, but it would have been so much worse if he wasn't so great with her.

I have a great family. Really. You should be jealous. =)

Monday, September 03, 2007

Today's Deep Thought

We went to Green Bay this weekend for Michael's cousin's wedding. It provided us a nice excuse to go see all of his grandparents so that they could meet their great-grand-daughter. More about the trip later, when I have more energy to type, but for now, I bring you today's deep thought...

How can Michael's grandma, at the age of 95 years old, be the youngest in her family, yet Ellie, at the age of 4.5 months old, is the oldest. Deep.

* This deep thought was brought to you by Michael and the letter T.

Friday, August 31, 2007

New Song

My sister came up with a new song...

Since little kids have no real concept of time, she figured the best way to tell Ellie how far we are from our destination is in terms of numbers of screams she has left to go.

99 more wails to go.
99 more wails.
Let one out.
Scream and shout.
98 more wails to go.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Signs of Sleep Deprivation

#1: Loss of motor skills

It's embarrassing how badly the lack of sleep affects one's ability to do seemingly simple things like walking. I would not be surprised if people have started to question my ability to care for an infant if I keep walking myself into walls, or if Michael should be trusted with flight hardware if he keeps missing steps on the stairs. Really... those walls and steps can be tricky S.O.Bs.

#2: Memory loss

Just this morning would be an excellent example of this -
Niffer - What are our conclusions on how last night went?
Michael - Well she slept for 2 hour stretches, right?
Niffer - No, she slept for 4 hours and then 2 hour stretches.
Michael - No, she went to bed at 7:30 and woke up at 9:30.
Niffer - No, that was the night before.
Michael - Remember? You said "I can't believe it's only 9:30, I slept so hard."
Niffer - Yes, but that was the night before, when we didn't watch anything before going to bed.
Michael - We watched something last night?
Niffer - Yes, the remainder of the movie.
Michael - Didn't we do that two nights ago?
Niffer - Hmmm... I don't know.
Michael - Maybe we should start keeping a notebook of her sleeping habits.
Niffer - You're a smart man.

#3: Flawed logic

A good example from two nights ago (I think):
Michael - We humans got this whole thing backwards.
Niffer - What do you mean?
Michael - Like that video of the colt just popping out and being able to run and eat right from the start. It's too bad we have to be born before we can take care of ourselves because of our large brains.
Niffer - Yeah, animals did it right.
Michael - Well I guess puppies are born without their sight.
Niffer - Yeah but that makes sense because they have better vision.
Michael - So they're born earlier because of their huge eyes?
Niffer - Exactly.
Michael - What kind of freakish huge-eyed dogs have you seen lately?
Niffer - Uh... Good point.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


For those of you who believe in evolution, answer me this...
Why haven't we learned how to fall asleep while standing and rocking a baby back to sleep?

For those of you who believe in devine creation, please pass along the suggestion to God for the next time he decides to create a universe with intelligent life forms.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

@$$ kicked by a GIRL

Yes, we're getting our @$$es kicked by a little girl. It's embarrassing. Don't let her cute face and wide happy eyes fool you because every hour, or two if we're lucky, she is awake and ready to start the day. We're losing. We're losing bad.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Will the idiot please stand

Uh, yes. That would be me. Michael came up with an incredibly smart and seemingly obvious theory on why Ellie has not been sleeping.

The time change. EST is two hours ahead of MST so when we put Ellie down for bed at 6:30/7:00 she's thinking it's only 4:30 and thus nap time. An hour later, she's bright-eyed and bushy tailed.

Duh. How stupid can I be? It seemed so obvious and make so much sense.

It's just too bad that it affects the entire night. Ugh.

A friend of mine went through a similar thing when she came back from CO wither her son (same age as Ellie) and she made a comment that she felt like they were dealing with a newborn again because her son was waking up every hour or two.

I wish we could say the same, but the newborn Ellie slept 4-5 hours. Always has. And we thought always would. So we're dealing with something worse. Something much worse. Something pre-newborn. Scary.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Two Fun New Games

How to play Game 1 (a racing the clock game):

Player 1's is to lays on her back and then rolls over onto her stomach. The amount of time spent on her back before rolling over can vary and has no importance. Once on her stomach, she then cries.

Player 2's role is to go over to Player 1 and roll her back over so that she is once again laying on her back. The challenge is to do this within a short pre-fixed period of time. If Player 2 is too slow, then Player 1 may decide that the game is over and may protest in any way she chooses.

When the "round" is complete (marked by Player 1 laying on her back again) then the next round may begin by repeating the steps described above. The object of the game is to complete as many rounds as possible and keep Player 1 happy for as long as possible.

How to Play Game 2 (a guessing game):

Player 1's role is to go to sleep and then wake up and cry, demanding to be put back to sleep. The duration of the sleep period before waking up can vary from 5 minutes to 15 minutes or even to as high as 9 hours (only to be used on rare, bonus rounds).

Player 2's role is to guess what Player 1 needs in order to go back to sleep. Options include any combination of the following:
- Player 2 may swaddle Player 1
- Player 2 may un-swaddle Player 1
- Player 2 may feed Player 1
- Player 2 may bounce Player 1
- Player 2 may make calming "Shhh"ing sounds in Player 1's ears
- Player 2 may rock Player 1
- Player 2 allow Player 1 to suck on Player 2's finger
- Player 2 may roll Player 1 from side to side
- Player 2 may pat Player 1's back in a rhythmic pattern
- Player 2 may sing a song to Player 1

When the "round" is complete (marked by Player 1 sleeping peacefully without any physical contact with Player 2) then the next round may begin by repeating the steps described above. The object of the game is to complete as many rounds as possible and keep Player 1 sleeping for as long as possible.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I know not what I do

Please forgive me, I know not what I do...

Ever heard of that song? It's been stuck in my head since going to the doctor's for Ellie's 4 month check up yesterday.

In a nutshell, she's doing great. She is 50-70th percentile for weight and above 95th percentile for length. She is no longer a little baby.

We asked the pediatrician about sleep training and sadly she recommended waiting until closer to 6 months, and after talking about it together we agreed.

So this means that the hours of crying last night and this morning were unnecessary and I feel horrible about putting my little baby through that. You might wonder why not continue now that we've started and in the end we feel like there is a reason we like our pediatrician and we should trust her (plus my sister said that they teach the same thing in her class - to wait to have the baby learn to sleep until closer to 6 months).

So there you have it. More evidence against my nomination for Mother of the Year.

However, for those who want a quick update on how last night went... Ellie slept for 3-4 hour increments unswaddled! Maybe having her put herself to sleep a couple of times did good stuff for being able to sleep unswaddled. Either way, I think I see hope.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Worst Mom EVER

I know I've already posted 2 things today, but this one will be quick.

I wasn't mentally prepared to have to do nap time alone, since we were hoping to have Ellie learn to sleep this weekend... and UGH!!!!

1 hour and 8 minutes of crying. Strangely she cries strong up until the end, which is even more difficult on me. I'd like to believe that this is harder for me than for her, but I doubt it.

I suck.

Baby Sets New Sleeping Record

Last night the baby slept for 5 minutes. Yes, you heard me right. 5 minutes. And since you're probably confused about how that's a new record because previously she had been known to sleep for 9 hours, I will explain.

Ellie has been on the edge of some sort of funky transition period where she does not like to be swaddled yet needs to be swaddled in order to know how to sleep. Well last night this situation came to a head. Here is a basic summary of how her sleep schedule went:

15 min
15 min
15 min
15 min
10 min
5 min
5 min
5 min
5 min
5 min

At which point we decided to unswaddle her and see if it would do the trick. If not, then we would go ahead and start with helping her learn how to put herself to sleep. We had hoped to wait until this weekend to do that, but 5 minute sleep times were just too much for us to handle. Besides, we figured that if we weren't getting any sleep anyway, we might as well try to make some sort of forward progress.

After unswaddling her, she slept for 30 minutes, at which point it was 1:30 AM. Let the learning begin!

Let me tell you this... having her put her to sleep the first time was by far the worst thing I have ever experienced. We would check in on her every 15 minutes (suggested by a few sources) and though the books say that most children/babies put themselves to sleep within the first hour, ours is apparently more determined or something. She lasted 2 hours before no longer crying. UGH!!!

I guess there is no chance in hell that I'll receive the Mother of the Year Award this year.

Hey! I know you!

I must admit that I was nervous about coming back home from Colorado. I could tell that by the end of the trip Ellie was getting tired of meeting new people. She started to become somewhat clingy to her mom in those last couple of days. I had nightmares that Ellie wouldn't recognize her daddy since who knows how long a baby's memory is? Would she remember him if it had been 2 weeks since seeing him? Ugh. I would feel so bad if she started crying after handing her to his loving embrace.

Luckily, though, she remembered him and even gave him a smile when seeing him. Thank God.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

July Picture Update

I know, I know... I'm way late for the July pictures. My only excuse is that I had company in town at the beginning of August and then left for Colorado for a couple weeks. Please forgive me.

July Pictures

Traveling with the Little One

Well we're back in Maryland now. I'm so tired, but so is Ellie.

All and all traveling with her went well. In both flights, she cried (well, more like screamed on the return flight) during take-off and landing. However, I still don't really see what the big deal about traveling with a baby is. Granted, it's not easy, but I know so many people who just won't do it, let alone do it by themselves.

I'm glad I don't feel that way. But it wasn't easy. It was just different. Maybe the key is to have a different attitude about it. Oh, and to sit in the front row of the plane so that you can stand and rock your baby during the flight.

Other than that, really the only comment I have to make about spending the last 2 weeks alone with Ellie (I was visiting family, but the "alone" was in reference to not having my wonderful husband with me) would be that it really reinforced the whole "I'm a mother" now. I realized that only I was responsible for making sure that someone was around to watch Ellie and only I was responsible for putting her back to sleep when she woke up. I am responsible for this little one and I love it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

To Swaddle or Not to Swaddle

The all-knowing "they" say that when my little baby has had enough of being swaddled, she'll let us know. How? I'm not sure. Maybe she would normally break out of the swaddle during the night and continue sleeping? Not our Ellie. We took care of that problem by installing industrial strength velcro to her swaddles.

Four months now and I think she's decided that she's had enough. Or maybe she's beginning to consider the option of life without a swaddle. Either way, I'm tired of waking up every hour or so to switch between the two in order for her to go back to sleep.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Smiling and Standing at the same time

I've become quite familiar with how the back of my baby's head looks because she is almost always facing away from me. However, I do find it adorable that even so, I can still tell when she smiles. Apparently it's impossible for an infant to smile and stand at the same time. Wiggly babies are cute, even from behind.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

She's her mother's daughter

Ellie is definitely my daughter. She has recently taken to talking a lot when she's tired. I've always had the problem of saying things I wouldn't usually say, or having conversations I end up not remembering, when I'm super-tired. My apologies, Ellie, for passing it on to you, but I can now see why it's so entertaining for everyone else.

Additionally, she gets the hic-ups all the time! One of them even scared her today. She's got it bad. Someday I'll apologize for the more annoying genes and associated habits I've passed on.

Friday, August 17, 2007

That's the Ellie I know!

Finally, after a week of not sleeping through the night (there was even one night when she woke up every 2 hours!!), Ellie slept 9 hours straight through again. My mind was saying "Atta girl! That's the Ellie I know!" My heart was saying "Have I told you lately that I love you?" My boobs were saying "Damn, she's back!"

P.S. Happy 4 Month, little one.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Look what I found, Ma!

A few weeks ago Ellie was attacked by a bear. A pink bear, to be more specific. I apologize for not telling you sooner, but everyone is ok. Much to our surprise, Ellie told the bear exactly what she thought of her inappropriate behavior, and then proceeded to spend the next few days telling anyone who would listen the story about how she survived a bear attack.

We didn't know she could talk so much.

Soon the news of the vicious pink bear wore off and life went back to normal. Ellie ran out of people to tell the story and grew tired of hearing it herself.

She returned to sitting back quietly, just taking in as much of the world as possible.

Then we recently went to lunch with Daddy and guess what we found at the brick oven pizza place?

Ellie's voice! Who would have thought that was where she left it??

She squawked, squeaked, quacked and groaned throughout lunch. Both Daddy and I were so surprised that we didn't know what to think of it. It was somewhat embarrassing, and nerve wrecking. Obviously we're still not used to her making noises unless she is upset, so with every squawk, we prepared ourselves for the worse.

However, as it turns out, Ellie was just messing with us. I'm not sure what story she was so excited to share with everyone, but maybe she was reminiscing about the time when she single handedly took on the ornery pink bear.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

What the boobs don't know...

Apparently the concept of time zones is foreign to lactating boobs. By the time Ellie wakes up for her 2:00 AM feeding, my breasts have decided to punish me for my seemingly laziness. Did they not get the memo? We're in Colorado now!! It's not fair that I'm punished for the sun not rising at the same exact time across the entire country. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nursing Distractions

I swear that the instant we landed in Colorado, Ellie decided to grow up. She has suddenly (no warning, I swear) started grabbing everything at the table! Ack! I'm not ready for that yet!

Another thing that she has suddenly taken on is being distracted while nursing. New noises make her stop eating to look, which results in me flashing the world more. I can not talk while she's eating or she'll stop to pay attention to what I'm saying. Worst yet, was the ice-maker... when it went off, she bit me. Then when I told my sister about it, she laughed which made me laugh, which once again made Ellie stop to pay attention to me. Her smile showed that she thought it was all pretty funny too.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The story you've all been waiting for...

The airport. I'm sure you're wondering how it went. I'd love to tell you a great story, which I intended to do, but unfortunately (or fortunately) so much stuff has happened in the last few days that I now have better things to write about!

However, I will still give you the shortened version.

Ellie did just fine on the plane, all things considered. Well, let's just say that it wasn't her that upset me. She cried during take-off and landing (I couldn't get her to take the breast!) and was difficult to get to sleep, so why do I say it wasn't her that bothered me?


Ugh! She ended up basically going from 5:00 AM EST to 2:00 PM EST without eating or sleeping. Surprisingly, though, she was in a pretty good mood for most of the day, AND was super-easy to put down to sleep. Huh. Go figure. I kindof like sleep-deprived Ellie.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

I'm not laughing at you...

Oh my gosh! Tonight Ellie gave me her first honest-to-god laugh! Every night I give her the counting kisses and this time, when I got to "7 loud kisses on a pretty belly button" she let out a real giggle! Damn I wish I could have seen it! Unfortunately I had my face stuck into a baby belly at the time. Doh.

Messing with Mommy

Sleep. Who needs it? Really?

Ellie was sleeping just fine. She usually slept for 7-9 hours on a consistent basis. A few days ago, I posted an entry about needing to sleep train her, and that might have given people the impression that she no longer slept so well.

As it turns out, I've been reading a book about how to teach children to fall asleep on their own. In it there is a sentence or two that says "if your baby is less than four months, and she sleeps through the night, then continue whatever it is you were doing. You do not have problems."

Huh. That makes me feel better. We don't have sleep problems. Case closed.

Or do we?

Ever since I came to the conclusion that we are doing just fine and that Ellie sleeps great, she has been waking up throughout the night. Ugh. Go figure.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I'm still alive

For those of you who were wondering, yes I'm still alive. The plane to Colorado did indeed land safely. However, I'm exhausted and haven't been in the right mood to type up any post... but not all is lost! I have some great ideas in mind, so maybe that will give you something to look forward to. And heck, if they end up not being so funny and entertaining afterall, we'll blame it on the lack of sleep. It's a win-win situation really. Now I must sleep. Again.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Don't forget to pack your underwear!

I haven't mentioned the fact that I'm visiting Colorado this week yet because I've mostly been in denial. I'm so excited to see people again because I certainly do NOT see my friends often enough and it will be nice to spend more time with my family. On top of that, I just plain miss my mountains!

However, I'm so nervous about traveling, alone, with Ellie. And thus the denial.

But let's ignore that for the time being. We'll just assume that traveling with her will go smoothly and it will be no big deal.

Let's talk about packing... I have no real good idea of what to bring with me, so I think I'm going to bring just about everything except the kitchen sink (luckily my sister has one of those, so we should be ok). The funny thing about packing, though, is that I'm not nervous about forgetting to bring something that I'll need for the baby... but I certainly hope I don't end up in Colorado without any clean underwear!!


Note to self:
When procrastinating until the last day to pack for your first trip alone with an infant, it is not wise to experiment with sleep/nap arrangements at the same time.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Alert the press!

I believe it has been more than two days now since Ellie has given us one of her award-winning cries in the car seat. I know what you're thinking, so let me just go ahead and answer all your questions now:

Yes, I did say that Ellie hates her car seat.
Yes, this is the same baby.
No, I did not drug my baby to get her to shut up.
Yes, she is indeed still alive and able to scream.
Yes, she was actually strapped in her seat inside the car, not tied to the top.
No, she was not passed out - though that's another miracle to tell another day.
Yes, I did indeed remember to bring her with me.
No, I did not change car seats.
No, it is still too hot in the car.
No, the sun is still shining on her face.
Yes, she still has many many many toys in the seat with her.
No, it is still too cold in the car.
Yes, the car seat is still in the backseat of the car, not up in the front with me.
No, she's not swaddled.
No, she's not gagged.
Yes, Ellie is smart enough to realize she's in the same seat, in the same car.

And finally,
Your guess is as good as mine on what changed.

Did I miss any?

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Friday, August 03, 2007

Job Hunting

Searching for a new job in a new state with a new baby is not exactly the easiest thing to do. To date I've applied to 2 jobs and sent my resume to another company. Not too shabby for a month and a half of searching. Michael has even applied to a couple himself, but he's got it even worse than I do because he doesn't get hour-long nap times to quickly search for openings while he's at work. Silly employers expecting their current employees to work.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Mmmm.... Diaper Soup

I swore it would never be me, but I am ashamed to admit that I have joined the ranks of parents who talk to their non-parental friends about the consistency of my child's diaper (Niffer hangs her head in shame).

Yes. I did it. I'm sorry.

And just so that I do not have the urge to give my friends such un-wanted details of parenthood again, I thought it might be good to get it all out in the open, for the entire public (or at least those reading this blog) to see. My apologies in advance but in my defense, you do not need to continue reading.

Mustard soup. That's the consistency of what comes out of my little girl. It's gross, I know, especially those times like The Diaper Incident of May 2007. However, at least I know it could be worse... at least it smells like buttermilk because I breastfeed. You have to take your winnings when you get them.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Love and Logic

I'm reading a book that my mom highly recommends. It's called Parenting With Love and Logic. In a nutshell, it speaks of raising children who make their own decisions and learn from their own experiences. Overall, I agree with most of the concepts presented in the book. Not all, but most.

However, there have been a few times when the book just upsets me. The best example would be the following:

"Responsible parents want to bring their children up with established spiritual values. They want their kids to have faith, understand the Christian message, and know God intimately."

Excuse me? Does that mean if you are not a spiritual person, then you are not a responsible parent? And even better yet, if you're not Christian then you're not a responsible parent? Ugh. What a sad, closed-minded opinion that is.

I guess it goes to show that with any self-help book, you have to keep the information that you find to be useful and throw the other information away.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Not one of my smarter moments

Last night our little girl gave my poor husband a really hard time while I was out with friends. In the end, she went to bed having only 3 oz of milk (usually she does 6ish) so when Michael called to tell me to pump I thought "I shouldn't pump now just in case she wakes up soon". It wasn't until I was driving the 30 minute trip home with rock hard breasts that I realized I wouldn't have been able to help even if she did wake up.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sleep Training

Michael and I have been coming to the conclusion that we are doing something wrong. We have decided that Ellie may need sleep training. What? Sleep training? But I thought she had a decent, if not good, sleeping pattern.

Here's the deal... yes, she has a good sleeping pattern, and stays asleep for 6-8 hours (a little less now that we have larger swaddles), however we still swaddle her for any sleeping (naps included) and we still put her to sleep holding her and gently lie her down in hopes of her staying asleep.

That part I don't mind. Honestly, I'm thankful for a baby that sleeps well.

So, what's the motivation behind the decision for needing sleep training? The car seat. She hates it. Absolutely hates it with a passion. I've tried everything. Maybe she's too hot. Maybe she's too cold. Maybe the sun is in her face. Maybe she needs toys. Maybe she needs to be swaddled. Maybe she needs to be in a cave. Maybe she needs to be in someone else's car*. In the end, almost without fail, she ends up screaming.

And her screaming has a horrible effect on me. It always makes me feel like I am failing her and am a horrible mother. I do not want my little baby to cry and I hate it when she does, but what am I supposed to do? I can't pull the car over every 5 minutes to calm her down! So I have no choice but to sit through it and suffer along with her. Doing so, though, has made me decide the source of road rage. Those jerky drivers out there? Yep, they once had a screaming car seat baby and just weren't ever able to get over it. Poor, poor souls.

You might still be confused. What does the car seat have to do with sleeping at night? Our latest theory is that by us putting her to sleep all the time, she has not yet learned how to calm herself down. We think that the reason she hates her seat is that she hates being left alone. And by swaddling her at night, we're preventing her from finding her thumb to soothe herself down. Things like that.

So I think that sleep training will be happening in the near future. Not this weekend because we have company and I'm sure that another term for "sleep training" is "torture for the whole family and all". Maybe next weekend. We're not sure on the details, but we are sure that something needs to change.

* On a slightly different note, I have recently noticed that my neighbor has moved her infant car seat up front, in the middle seat of her suburban and I wonder two things: 1. Isn't that illegal? and 2. I wonder if her baby hates the car seat too.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Trip to the Movies

The local movie theater has free showings of children's movies every Wednesday morning. It is a nice way of getting a lot of kids into the theaters to buy lots of candy. I'm telling you, you've never seen so many kids in one place!

A bunch of mommy friends and I have started to go to the movies as a way of getting out of the house. The first time it went well. Ellie watched the previews and was fascinated with them, but as soon as the movie started, she ate and fell asleep.

The second movie... not so good. She has recently decided that instead of taking naps, she'd rather stay awake so that she doesn't miss out on anything. However, she doesn't seem to understand that infants her age just about break down if they stay awake for more than two hours or so. The result? A break down of course.

I ended up walking the halls of the movie theater, trying desperately to get her to calm down and fall asleep, but with no apparent results.

It was then that I was reminded of how kids say exactly what they're thinking. I overheard all sorts of comments from kids watching the scene:
"Mommy, what's wrong with that baby?"
"Why doesn't that mommy calm her baby down?"
"That baby needs a good pacifier, mommy!"
"Mommy, what's she doing to that baby?"

Ugh! I swear I was trying my best!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Everyone has their strengths

Ellie certainly confuses us.

She loves the changing table, but only if I'm changing her diaper. If Michael does it, she screams from the moment he lays her down.

She loves playing with her toys, but only if I'm playing with her. If Michael does it, she cries to be picked up.

In the end, though, I think Michael makes up for it in calming her down. If putting Ellie to the breast doesn't work, I have little hope. However, I can hand her over to him and she settles right down. The same is true for Miss I'm Too Cranky To Fall Asleep. He has the ability to put her to sleep within minutes. Amazing.

I believe I'm starting to see Daddy's Little Girl emerging from this little soul.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Worth the Wait

I know that I have been promising a picture of Ellie's great smile, but it's nearly impossible to do! The problem lies in two facts: You never know when she will smile (what she finds entertaining one day can piss her off the next) and she likes the camera too much (the little red light on the camera distracts her from whatever might be entertaining). However, after much effort, Michael somehow managed to get a great picture from her! If this picture doesn't make you love life, then I don't know what would.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Why the rush, baby?

My little girl is growing up so quickly! What's the rush, Ellie???

In the last couple of days, she has 1. Started talking A LOT, 2. Started grabbing her toys on her own and 3. rolled over from her stomach onto her back.

Now, I'm all for progress, but I have decided that I'm ok with only one item a week. Give me time to celebrate and encourage and be proud of each improvement, that's all I ask. If growth always happens in chunks like this, then this whole parenthood thing will be over before I know it!

Let's compromise... one growth item per week, but items that make parenting easier can be obtained without counting against your tally. For example, if you wish to learn that you will not actually die any time you are placed into your car seat, that does not need to count towards your weekly growth quota. This leaves open the opportunity to still learn how to roll over onto your stomach, or what ever single item of growth you choose for that week. Deal?

I think compromise is a good lesson to learn early.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Baby sleeps from 8:00pm to 4:00am

I know you can do the math, but that's 8 freakin' hours! Incredible, huh? You'd think that I would be well-rested after such a sleeping period, but you'd be wrong.**

I woke up about 2:45am, which started a thought process similar to the following:

- Wow, what time is it? The baby should be waking up soon.
- Holly milking cow, it's almost 3:00! That's 2-3 hours longer than usual!
- Yep, definitely longer than usual. My boobs are huge.
- Actually, quite huge.
- Painfully huge.
- The baby must be dead.
- Nope, I heard a moan. Good, she'll be waking up soon.
- Or not.
- Damn boobs. Whose idea was it to have breasts store milk? Why not have them make milk when milk is demanded?
- No one ever told me that breasts could get rock hard AND lumpy! Gross.
- Why isn't she awake yet?
- I wonder how painful it is for a milk cow to not get milked.
- Poor cows.
- Damn this hurts.
- Ugh... and now I've done it. Just thinking about milking has opened the dams.
- I can't believe it's 3:15 and she's still sleeping!
- And look at my sweet husband, sleeping peacefully as well.
- Damn him and his breastless chest.
- He can even sleep on his stomach, but does he? No. What a waste.
- I wonder if I'll ever be able to sleep on my stomach again.
- OH MY GOD!!! I must have milk stored all the way around to my backside!!!
- I bet I could pump a gallon.
- Hmm... pumping. That sounds so nice.
- 3:30... MUST GET MILK OUT OF ME!!!
- Ok, let's compromise? Maybe pump just one side? There's plenty for the baby from the other side, I swear.
- 3:45... Wow. What a relief. I love my pump.
- 5 oz from a single breast? Have I said MOO lately?
- 4:00... It's about time! Of course, you're hungry, little girl... I could have told you that!

** Update: After a couple more similarly painful nights, my breasts and Ellie have finally agreed on a schedule. For the most part, she now sleeps from 7:30/8:00 to 3:00/4:00. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Thomas and Ellie sitting in a tree

Ellie has a boyfriend. His name is Thomas. Yesterday we stood the babies in front of each other and they seemed to like each other. In fact, Ellie reached for something for the very first time... Thomas' hand! They actually reached for each other and held hands for a good 30 seconds. They did it a second time, but Ellie decided to play hard to get and pulled away relatively quickly. Later, Thomas showed her that two can play that game because he shied away from her (by digging his head into his mommie's chest) when he saw Ellie again. They make such a cute couple.

Let's add that to the list of cute things I wish I had a picture of.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

@$$ Whopping

Not too long ago, I got my ass kicked. "By whom?" you might ask. By my baby's crib. I'm not proud of it, but I decided I would not hide behind the truth. The truth of the matter is that even though Ellie is now almost 3 months old, we have had maybe a total of 3 weekends alone, with no family visiting to see the new grandchild. I think it's because of this that it took me 2.5 months to actually change the sheets on the crib myself. Until then, other family members would do it as a way of being helpful.

I have to say... I don't know how they did it so gracefully. Those sheets are tight, man! It took me a good half an hour to change the sheets, and I ended up coming out of the nursery all sweaty and totally exhausted.

So, to those who were so kind to change the crib sheets for me, thank you. You made it look too easy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy 3 Months Birthday!

Today Ellie turned 3 months. Isn't she adorable? I really can not believe how big she has gotten! This little girl is nearly 13 lbs!!! Her eyes are still blue, but her hair has almost a red-ish tint to it. She hasn't grabbed for toys yet, but she can hold a good rattle quite well. She can lift her head quite high, and has recently liked to stand on her feet. She does quite well and holds up her own weight. She just needs help with the balancing. For a while she was smiling a lot, though you wouldn't know it based off of the pictures because it's nearly impossible to get a good picture of her great toothless smile. However, when you see it, it just warms your heart.

So, how is Mommy doing after 3 months? Rumor has it that these precious little ones get significantly easier after 3 months, and I certainly hope that people aren't lying to me! I love Ellie so much and I'd do anything for her, don't get me wrong. However, I never expected her to be so draining - both physically and emotionally. And that says a lot since I did expect it to be really hard. Luckily I see incredible growth just about every day and I am certainly looking forward to the time when she can really interact with us.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Baby Dreams

For the last three months I have wondered what my baby dreams about. I love the times when she smiles a huge toothless grin in her sleep, as she has been doing that almost since she was born. On the other hand, there are also times when she cries in her sleep and that is heartbreaking.

I hate to think that she's already having nightmares. What sort of dreams does a baby have anyway? If a baby is only a couple months old, what are her nightmares like? Are they images of the breast going dry? Or visions of Mommy never coming to the rescue? Maybe it's just thoughts of having horribly painful gas?

And the good dreams? What are they of? Does she smile when she dreams about a breast approaching her face? Or maybe visions of Mommy smiling down on her? What about the possibility of just thoughts of having relieving gas?

I guess we'll never really know, will we?