Sunday, June 29, 2008

Our last Starbucks

We got Starbucks the other day and it was the first time that Ellie demanded to have some. Me, being the intelligent type of mother, had a brilliant idea! Why not let her try it? She'll hate the taste of coffee. What self-respecting toddler likes coffee?

This one.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Daddy Transition

I realized today that I have made a mental transition. My sister called and was talking about Daddy being out of vacation, which didn't make any sense to me. Why would Michael be out of vacation if he hasn't used much yet? Then it occurred to me that she is speaking of our Daddy, not Ellie's Daddy. I guess I've been calling Michael "Daddy" long enough that he now holds the title. The other guy has been promoted to "Pappy."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I found a wonderful blog

I added a link to a blog I just found. You might think it's random because I have only been to New Hampshire once, but I stumbled upon this blog and I absolutely loved many of the pictures. Most of them are nature-oriented, but not all. They're just gorgeous. I'm going to have to take a photography class.

This is one of my favorite non-nature pictures:
Finding a place through the motions

And I think this one is just incredible:
Help, I have done it again

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


So true

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Note to self

A toddler wearing capris pants does not look cute and fashionable. Instead, it looks like she's outgrown the clothes her mother put her in that morning.

Monday, June 23, 2008

How cute are they together?

I am sure that you want great cute pictures of Ellie with the new puppy. Join the club. I have been trying all weekend long with no such luck! Apparently it is impossible to get the both of them to look in the same direction long enough for me to push the button on the camera. I keep trying, though.

On another puppy-related note, it turns out that Ellie likes the doggie biscuits better than Merlin does. I guess I'll have to get used to that, right? And if it's healthy enough for a dog to eat, it's healthy enough for a toddler, right? Michael claims he's had many dog biscuits in his life. I wonder if that explains anything.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Was it something I said?

A good friend of mine has seemed to stop talking to me. I can't be certain because she hasn't told me so, but I am beginning to get suspicious. I'd like to consider us good friends. After all, we were in each other's wedding! However, I do have to admit that with me living in MD for the last 7.5 years, we haven't kept in touch quite as much as I would like.

But we did keep in touch! And when I got pregnant, it seemed like we were emailing each other even more often. She had her first son almost a year before Ellie was born, so I turned to her with a lot of questions.

So, what has happened? I'm not sure. One of the last emails I remember writing to her was in response to her telling me that she thought I should find out what gender the baby was because she admitted to having a hard time with the idea of her baby being a boy. When I came into town and had lunch with her, I noticed that things seemed a bit uncomfortable and I couldn't figure out why.

The final email I got from her was telling me about how her mom had a stroke (is almost fully recovered now) and thus she was glad that her mom took care of her son during the day (more time together). I never responded to that email. I feel horrible about it now, but I was too wrapped up in how things were going in my life.

I've been back in CO for almost 6 months now and I've seen my friend once (I stopped by, unannounced). She had her second child (another boy) almost a year after Ellie (two years after her first). She told me that it was a lot harder than she expected it to be, and I want to be understanding about that, but with every phone message I leave I get more suspicious.

I've probably left her a dozen phone messages in the last 5 months, offering to meet up with her during lunch sometime to catch up. I've even mentioned working around her schedule, but she has never called me back.

I wonder what happened. Is it totally paranoid of me to think I missed something that happened between us? Was she upset that I ended up having a girl and yet she has two boys? I know she isn't really - that's one of those things that you end up loving what you have more than you ever thought you could. But, did her admitting to wishing for a girl and then me ending up with a girl put tension on our friendship?

What about me not asking about her mom (which I did when I stopped by unannounced, and was relieved to hear she's doing well)? I could see that it would be hurtful to my friend that I seemed to show no concern?

Or am I just being silly? Maybe she really is just too busy and tired with her two kids. Maybe I'm over-reacting.

But it has been 6 months and a dozen phone messages...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Adding to the family

It's not what you think, though I'm honestly surprised I don't get asked more often about that one. A couple weekends ago we went to go pick out* the newest member to our family... a puppy! Here is Ellie, anxious to see the little guys.

You know, considering there were something like 13 puppies, she did EXTREMELY well. You have to admit that as cute as puppies are, if you have a swarm of them all around you, and even practically the same size as you, it can get overwhelming.

However, Ellie likes dogs and thought that this pack of little ones was pretty darn cool.

Sometimes it seemed that she liked the dog toys better than the puppies.

And she certainly thought the huge horses were exciting. I tried to steer her attention back to the puppies because I'm allergic to horses. Thus no pictures of that.

You know, taking pictures of puppies isn't as easy as it may seem, but here is the little guy we picked.

We're thinking of naming him Merlin (on the right). He comes home tomorrow.

* Disclaimer: Usually Michael is a animal shelter type of guy. Really, in most cases, there is no reason to need to go to a breeder. There are so many good dogs out there. However, he wants to get a poodle mix (these are goldendoodles) because it will be easier on my allergies, and since doodles are so popular - that means we need to get a puppy. I appreciate his thought, and I really appreciate the fact that he's decided to donate the same amount of money he is paying for the puppy to the local animal shelter. I am married to an amazing guy.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Patience is a virtue

I've noticed lately that little Ellie doesn't have a lot of patience. Not that I really expect a young toddler to be patient for everything. That's unreasonable. However, the one that has me somewhat concerned is that she doesn't really have much patience for puzzle-type toys. There are two toys that come to mind when I say this.

First, the shape box. I'm sure you know the type of toy. Four different shapes, four corresponding holes. Ellie has finally gotten to the point where she understands that the shapes go into the holes (instead of just in and out of the box. However, when she tries to put a square into the circle hole, she starts to complain instantly because it won't fit. Now this makes sense to me. However, if she tries to put the square into the square hole, only slightly skewed, she also complains. She doesn't take a moment to try to realign the shape.

Similarly, with her stacking cups. She understands that they stack, but if she tries to stick the big one inside the little one, she gets pissed off that the laws of physics get in her way.

I am sure it's some sort of stage in her development. Afterall it did take a while for her to even understand the basic concept of the toys in the first place, but I do worry that she isn't interested in solving puzzles just because she doesn't have the patience to try new options. Is that a personality thing or a development thing?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Well, duh, Niffer!

Last night I went to another Love and Logic class. This one seemed better than last week's session, so that's good. Most people in the class have slightly older children (2-5 years old) and I feel like the problems they have with their children are genuine, where as the problems I have with Ellie seem so silly when in comparison. I just feel like Ellie hasn't gotten to the age yet where she gives me a bunch of challenges, so I'm a little unsure of how to apply the "love and logic" principles to what I'm doing with Ellie right now.

Anyway, last night I finally did bring up an example of a challenge that Ellie gives me. In fact, it is really the main challenge that I can think of, after all we have it nearly every evening. What is this horrible challenge? Well, she cries whenever we're heating the bottle. She just can not understand why she can't have the bottle RIGHT now. So, I was asking how to apply the rules to that particular situation, and if anyone had any suggestions.

Mother #1 asked:
Well, why do you need to heat the bottle at all?

My response:
Hmmm... I have no idea.

Mother #2 asked:
Why don't you change the routine so that it includes starting the bottle, then reading a book, then going back to get the warmed bottle?

My response:
Hmmm... I have no idea.

Mother #3 asked:
Why do you need to do a bottle at all?

My response:
Hmmm... I have no idea.

When I started the evening routine, it saved our lives. Finally things started to be easier for all of us. And since then, the general unspoken rule has been "DON'T MESS WITH THE ROUTINE!!!" but these moms pointed out three INCREDIBLY OBVIOUS solutions, all of which I felt embarrassed to not have considered on my own.

I guess I'll have to get back into the habit of changing something if it's not working. I was better at that when things were obviously bad than I am now when things are going so well overall.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

First official word!

Yeah, yeah... everyone has their different definitions on what counts as a first word.

There was the time when Ellie was about 3 months old, and in a very grown-up voice she clearly stated "HI!" I seem to remember one of the moms at my support group reminding me to mark the date so that I would remember when her first word was.

Then there was the series of "Mama" sounds that came out of her. The problem with that was that it was often "Mamamamama" instead of just "Mama". So I though I felt like there was an occasional sincerity, overall I wasn't convinced.

Next came a bunch of "Dada" sounds. I swore that she would say it with more enthusiasm when she was speaking about Daddy, and I've heard a couple other mommies say the same thing. But Daddy wasn't convinced. His problem was that everything was "Dada". The grass? Dada. Go outside? Dada. Milk please? Dada.

So it's been a long wait for us to finally get to a point where, without a doubt, Ellie has spoken her first word. Consistently. And what was this magical word?


Ok, technically it's "Ah ah" but it's totally the tone in her voice that makes a difference. She now says "Ah ah" whenever she drops something. It is so cute how she'll look over the edge of the chair at something on the floor and say "Ah ah".

Cheap thrills, I know, but I am very much so - thrilled!

P.S. I'm nearly convinced that she is trying to bark to say the word "dog", but since her bark isn't very bark-like, it's difficult to pin it down. She also might be saying "Ba ba" for the bottle, but again we're not completely sure.

Friday, June 06, 2008


I'm so excited guys!

It is always fascinating to watch Ellie's mindset change on how she looks at an aspect of her life. For example, we consider that she took her first steps on her birthday, but it wasn't until weeks later that she decided she could actually walk. We knew she could, but she just didn't consider it a real option. As soon as she made up her mind that she could walk, though, it was like a light switch. Fascinating.

Well I feel like it has happened again. A switch has been turned and now she feels like she can talk. Yesterday we think we heard her say "Ditty Dat" and she definitely has been saying "ah ah" in a very "oh-oh" tone of voice.

But the real difference is that yesterday she wasn't saying "Eh" for everything. In fact, I think she hardly said "Eh" at all! Instead, she said "Dadu". And she continued to do so this morning.

Now we don't know what a Dadu is, but it doesn't matter. The exciting thing about it is that:
1. It's not "eh".
2. It is two syllables
3. It has 3 sounds, all different from "eh"
4. She was very excited about saying it.
5. We could get her to say Dadu before getting something she wanted (could we be approaching the possibility of saying please, perhaps???)

Oh boy! You have no idea how happy I am that "eh" seems to be so last week!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Happy Niffer Day!

Today is my birthday and to celebrate, I am saving the world. I love Niffer Day because I can be a super hero for a day.

Once a year, I make all my charity donations and it makes me happy.

This year I saved the following:
Sick children
Gay community
Neurological problems victims

I think it surprises a lot of people how much Michael and I donate (I am so lucky to be able to say that he does the supports this decision). We save ~10% of our paychecks to donate to a cause that makes us happy. He has his money and I have mine. The only rule is that we give it to a cause that makes us happy.

I have to be honest, I am selfish in doing so. Sometimes the person at the charity is surprised by the amount and asks me why I picked them. I just tell them that today is my birthday and they called to me this year. I love the feeling that gives me - to give back to the world on what is supposed to be "MY" day.

I started taking a Parenting with Love and Logic class last night. It was filled with people who wanted to raise their children differently than they were raised. I was the only one in the room that said the opposite. My mom raised me with the principles of Love and Logic and I want to do the same with my children. Similarly, I definitely owe my charitable side to my mom... I wonder if Michael and I will be successful at passing it on to Ellie.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Someone let the air out

Imagine two big balloons. Imagine letting them go and they fly around, every which direction as the air escapes. In the end, you're left with two floppy balloons, barely able to keep a shape of their own.

That's how I feel. It's been exactly two weeks since I quit breast feeding my not-so-little little one. And tonight I am almost, but not quite, completely lump-free. Who would have thought that it would take TWO FREAKIN' WEEKS!! to return to normal?

"Return to normal?" That's a strange thought. My mom tells me that she went flat after breast feeding my sister. I can relate. I definitely look down at myself and wonder what the hell happened. Where did they go? Anyone down there? Hello?

However, my sweet husband assures me that I am still sexy even though I'm flat chested and have grey hair (that's for another day... or maybe never at all). He also claims that I have just returned to the size I was before getting pregnant. How is that possible? Seriously?

I guess he has a point, though. Afterall, my old bras still fit me and are still just as uncomfortable as they were years ago. Think about that comment. Years ago. It has been almost two years since I have been this small. Isn't that a crazy thought! It's been two years since before I was pregnant!!!

I wonder if that's all there is to it. Maybe I am not so small after all. I am just accustomed to being so freaking big. Maybe my mom didn't go flat after breast feeding either. Maybe she just got accustomed to being larger as well.

Umm... Nope. That's not it. These two just aren't the same as they used to be. I no longer have the breasts of a younger lady. I have the breasts of a mother. I am honored.