Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fake Smile

Ok, so there is room for improvement, but at least she responds to the request "smile for the camera."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I give up counting

Ellie now has enough words that I have lost track of how many she can say. She's always saying new words that amaze me.

This morning she pointed to her white shirt and said "wet" and pointed to the blue shirt and said "bue". I know she knows her colors, which is fantastic, though whenever you ask her "what color is this?" her answer is always the default "ellow".

Similarly, the default number is "twoo".

But like I said, she's always saying new words that just surprise me. She's so big now. She's is like a little person now. You may make the argument that she's always been a little person, but it's even more so now because she seems to have no problem communicating her thoughts and wants. I swear the changes she has had in the last month have aged her more than any previous month.

Next month, we're off to kindergarten!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Amazing Anna

I find it amazing that after all this time (it's been 6 months now), Ellie still remembers Miss Anna's name. Ellie has been sick the last couple of days and she didn't want to go to daycare today. It was a very pleasant surprise for both Ellie and Mommy to see Miss Anna sitting in the room at daycare, and suddenly Ellie was all about staying at school. She kissed me good bye, waved to me and ran to Anna.

I have said this often, but I wonder what memories Ellie will take with her when she gets older. I thought for sure that by now she would have forgotten Anna. If not, then at least replace her with another favorite teacher. Do you think Miss Anna might become one of those memories? Is she really that amazing?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Concert at the Vincent's II

Mommy: Mr. Moon, Mr. Moon, you're out too soon. The sun is still in the sky. So go back to bed and cover up your head, and wait 'til the day goes by.

Ellie: Mo! Mo!

Mommy: Mr. Moon, Mr. Moon, you're out too soon. The sun is still in the sky. So go back to bed and cover up your head, and wait 'til the day goes by.

Ellie: Mo! Mo!

(Repeat about 10 times)

Mommy: You want more of the Mr. Moon song?

Ellie: Yeah.

Mommy: Ok, do you want to sing with Mommy this time?

Ellie: Yeah.

Mommy: Mr. Moon, Mr. Moon...

Ellie: La la ah eh oh la aaaa mooo...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lasting effects of Elmo

I do not think I will have a problem with Ellie being obsessed about buying Elmo stuff. Oh, she knows who he is and even knows his name (a surprise to me), but she didn't know he would come alive when she touched him at the toy store. I've never seen the girl jump so high (luckily she landed).

Elmo scared her almost 3 days ago and she still talks about him. After the initial scare, the only word she said for the rest of the evening was a very sad "Elmo" as though he disappointed her severely by reaching out and saying "Hi."

The following day she wanted to wear her Elmo shirt to school and she went up to all the teachers to explain to them how he attacked her at the store. Unfortunately, they misunderstood her and assumed she was just excited about her shirt.

Because of the incident, she has learned the meaning of "scared" and even learned the sign for it. When the topic comes up (still pretty often, even days later) she says "Elmo" and signs for "scared". Mommy responds with "Elmo scared you?" and she says "Yeah" and then goes into the details that I witnessed, though I'd love to understand the words from her perspective.

Another interesting detail on her piecing together information... When the cat hisses at her (usually because Merlin is around), Mommy says "The kitty is afraid of Merlin," to which Ellie responds "Elmo" while singing "scared".

It is so fascinating to watch her link related topics together like that.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Nose Blowing

I really do try. I try so hard. But no matter how many times I try to convince myself otherwise, I have to admit the fact that Ellie gets scared when I blow my nose.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I must be doing it wrong

I gave Ellie a time-out the other day. She hit Mommy and I said "don't hit Mommy, or we go into time-out." I stuck her in the corner and kept her hands to her side for a couple minutes. Afterwards she gave me a hug and we continued as if nothing happened.

Later, though, she hit Mommy again. I said "Don't hit Mommy. Do you want a time-out?" and she responded with a "Yeah!" and walked over to the corner. She stood facing the wall for a moment and then called for Mommy to come join her.

Hmm... what step did I miss?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Cartoon Physics

Before I got to know Ellie, I never realized that cartoon physics is based off of the study of toddler movement.

Spinning Wheels:
This is where the cartoon character starts to run so fast that he just spins in place for while. Ellie does this mostly on our hardwood floors.

Rounding Corners:
You can picture it, I'm sure. The cartoon character is running straight but then has to take a sharp turn. First his head turns, then his arms turn, then his feet finally catch up. But there for a brief moment, all body parts are going in different directions. This just cracks me up whenever we watch Ellie run around a corner. I honestly don't know how she manages to go in so many directions at once.

Forward Momentum:
Picture a surprised cartoon character, who needs to run away but is not sure where to go. Every now and then Ellie runs in such a way that I swear her feet are going left, her arms are going right, but since she's looking forward, somehow that's the direction she ends up moving. Again, I think she's defying the standard laws of physics.

Full-Arm Swing:
This is when the cartoon character walks deliberately up to another character to get revenge. I have to admit, I have never seen Ellie do this, however there was a little boy her age at the park who ran in just that manner. It was the funniest thing.

Maybe you have to spend time around a young toddler to fully comprehend what I'm saying, but next time you find yourself watching Saturday morning cartoons, keep this in mind: Their ideas come from somewhere, and I'm nearly certain it's from the little ones ruling our world.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Concert at the Vincent's

We are the first of our friends to have kids and it has definitely put us in a different social circle than them. Many of them still go out to concerts late at night while we are at home rocking out to Itsy-bitsy-spider, getting ready for a 7:45 bed time. But let me tell you, no one can match Daddy's rock version of the song!

Friday, November 14, 2008

An introduction to snow

This morning I had the privilege to introduce Ellie to snow. Granted, there wasn't a lot of it, but it was still enough to cover the ground in a magical white powder that she had never seen before. When she pointed outside, indicating something was different, I told her "Look Ellie! It's snow!" She learned the word quickly, and wanted to know more about this white stuff Mommy calls SNOW.

It wasn't difficult to convince her to put on her jacket and hat (something that usually sparks a game of "will Mommy chase me"). All I had to do was ask her if she wanted to go see the snow. At first she was very upset that I didn't want to go out to the backyard (where she first noticed the snow), but once she realized that there was snow out front too, then the excitement returned.

The problem was that I couldn't get her away from the snow to go to daycare, but I solved that by making a small snowball (again, there wasn't much snow, so it was more like a snow-grape) and I put it on her lap with her in the car seat. We were off! Once that snow-grape melted, though, she was demanding more and pointing snow out to me everywhere along the drive.

Once at daycare, we found a bench covered in snow and played there for a minute or two. Then inside, unlike her usual routine of being obsessed with books, she demanded more snow. Oh my god. She is so cute!

Ellie: Nooo? Nooo?
Mommy: You want more snow?
Ellie: Aye!
Mommy: Ok, give Mommy a hug good bye and let Miss Jana show you more snow.

I haven't received a hug good bye in such a long, long time! Mommy likes snow.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Printing my blog?

MJH, Little Bits o'Cracker, Squares Cubed and Spleeness, maybe even Dan G -

You guys have blogs. Duh. Do you know of a good and easy way to print out a blog? I've been trying to print my earlier posts into a book but with no luck. I was hoping to use Blurb, but their "slurp" function doesn't work with blogger. The only thing I've found so far is the good old fashioned cut and paste. What a pain!

Today's Lesson: Nose Oh Oh

If your 18 month old child says "Oh oh, no" while pointing to her nose, it would be safe to assume you do not want to ask for more details on what is wrong with her nose (unless, of course, you like being handed large droopy boogers).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Finish what you have first

Ellie: Mo Mo! (signing "more")
Mommy: You want more caramel apple?
Ellie: Aye.
Mommy: Finish what you have first.
Ellie: (Looks at her apple-sans-caramel, then shoves it into Daddy's mouth) A-done! (signing "all done"). Mo mo!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Book of choice

Mommy: Ellie, which book do you want to read?
Ellie: Airpa! Airpa! Airpa! (pointing in the air above her head and moving her finger in circles)
Mommy: You want to read the airplane book?
Ellie: Aye!
Mommy: I don't know what book that is.
Ellie: Airpa Bay-bay.
Mommy: Airplane baby book? I don't know what book that is.
Ellie: Airpa Bay-bay! Airpa Bay-bay! (followed by all sorts of different signs)
Mommy: You want to read the baby sign language book?
Ellie: Aye! Dada (pointing to Daddy).
Daddy: Ok... let's read the sign book. What is this?
Ellie: Bay-bay (signing baby).
Daddy: What is this?
Ellie: Beh (signing bed).
Daddy: And this?
Ellie: Airpa! (signing airplane)
Daddy: Ellie, you are SO smart!
Ellie: Aye.

And the family rode off into the sunset signing words to each other... cow, bird, grandma, cat, water, eat, banana... the list went on and on.*

The end.

Everyone: Ahhh. Sigh.

* HOLY COW! When did that happen? Dang! I swear I watched her age right before my very eyes!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Belated Halloween

You all know that I was nervous about being able to get cute pictures of Ellie for Halloween. My problem was that she hated her costume. Well I showed her!

Actually, it went pretty well all in all. I showed up at daycare with her costume and she was quite upset that everyone else had a costume and she didn't. She had been spending the last 20 minutes walking up to random costumes, pointing and crying "Mine!" Poor little girl.

Once she saw the costume that Mommy brought for her, she got more upset. She wanted a super soft fluffy costume. It only took one or two pieces of candy to convince her to give the fairy a try, but she did not want to leave Bun Bun alone!

There was no way I was going to have Bun Bun in my cute fairy pictures! So Mommy came up with a brilliant idea! She put Bun Bun into Ellie's trick-or-treat bag. Brilliant! Ellie proceeded to participate in the trick-or-treating, and everyone was surprised that she knew how the whole thing worked. Little did they know that she wasn't holding her bag up for candy. She was holding it up to show them the bunny hiding inside!

In the end, I think I got some damn-cute pictures! Check them out in my album to the right.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Feeling old

We were at a concert for Grandma's choir last week, where they provided hoola hoops to play with during intermission. Ellie got a hold of one that was easily twice her height and had a blast with it. Of course, there came the time when she asked Mommy to show her how to really use the hoop.

Let me tell you, I'm older than I thought I was because I apparently do not know how to hoola hoop. Daddy tried and hurt his back. Uncle David tried and did fairly well, though any outside observer could testify that no one should have to move like that in order to keep the hoop up.

So there was only one conclusion that we could come to. Hoola hoops are for children. Us grown-ups just can't do it right.

Then grandma picked up the hoop and proved us wrong. Ellie loved it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Passing along the credit

MJH wrote an incredibly sweet comment that I just had to share with you:

"Niffer is quickly becoming one of my favorite bloggers. I read whatever she posts almost as soon as she posts it. Because her blog captures the story of how she sees her daughter. It's really quite beautiful. It's WAAAY better than my blog. I wonder if my children ever read my blog if they'd recognize me."

Seriously, I'm touched. However, I do not think I can take all the credit for being as great as I am. LOL. I totally stole the idea of this blog from Little Bits O' Cracker. She has had her blog for quite some time now (her son is 5) and I absolutely love it. Long before I was expecting, I knew that I wanted to start a blog as soon as I found out I was pregnant. I loved how she would tell stories about her son. She has a way of describing the world from his perspective that makes your heart melt. I love it when she has a cute story about something he says, and she is able to type it out phonetically and thus it completely portrays how Cracker sounded. I still look forward to the day when Ellie starts speaking so that I can capture similar stories to those of the super-cute Cracker.

As a small side-note, I also absolutely love her husband's blog, Squares Cubed. He has an amazing ability to tell a great hilarious story with only using a minimal amount of words. Neither of them write as often as I'd like, but I do enjoy it when they do.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

A political vent

It's not like me to vent about a political issue. In fact, I hate political conversations, but I just found out that California (along with a couple other states) has changed their constitution to ban gay marriage.

I think this is unfortunate, but probably not in the way you might assume. I think that politicians are approaching the topic from the wrong angle. Instead of trying to include gays into the existing definition, try changing the definition to include gays. Let me explain...

I think that marriage is an example of where separation of church and state should be applied, however this issue wasn't apparent until recent times. I think that they should change all "marriages" to "civil unions". Then if you're religious and would like to be "married", go ahead and do so in a church. But keep everything government, tax or IRS related as "civil unions". That would maintain the separation of church and state that our country is supposed to have. It would also remove discrimination for gays, while maintaining the sacred meaning of marriage for those who are religious.

Listening to Obama's speech last night made me think about how much has changed in the last 100 years (duh, that was his main theme so I wasn't doing much thinking of my own). It wasn't long ago that it was illegal for a white person to marry a black person.

It makes me wonder what changes Ellie will see in her life time. When she's a grown woman, and looks back on the issues of today, what will she think? Will she agree with how the majority has voted? Or will she wonder what planet we're from? Will she agree with my thoughts and see me as an open-minded person I'd like to consider myself being? Will she consider myself and my generation to be closed minded? Or will she think we were a little too liberal, similar to how we think of hippies?

Ok, sorry about the political talk. I'll try not to let it happen again.

I voted

I sent Ellie to daycare with my "I voted" sticker and she went directly to her teacher and showed her the very cool American flag sticker that was on her shirt. Obviously Ellie is proud of the fact that her parents voted. Or she likes stickers. No, I think it's pride for her parents. Yep. That must be it.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Where's the pitcher?

Daddy: Have you seen the pitcher? I've looked everywhere in the kitchen for it.

Mommy: I was looking for it the other day too so that I could water the plants, but never found it. I looked in all the kitchen cabinets as well.


Daddy: Oh, that didn't sound good.

Ellie comes from the kitchen carrying the pitcher.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Crabby people are over-rated

Ellie did not sleep well Saturday night and woke up at 5:00 am (4:00, really, given the time change). The thought of making it until a decent nap time was a bit terrifying to Mommy, so she asked "What are we going to do?"

Daddy responded, "Well, it is Sunday. I suppose we should pray."


I need your thoughts. I've recently noticed that many of the teachers at daycare are using a nickname for Ellie. They are calling her Lori. Now, I accept the fact that this is a logical nickname to come up with, but it bothers me. I guess I assumed my little one would use that nickname when she was grown and mature. So, what do I do? Do I let them have their own nickname? Or do I tell them that people use Ellie as her nickname? Is it confusing for little Ellie to be called by her full name most of the time, Ellie by grandparents and extended family, and then Lori by teachers at school? Which one will she learn to write first?

Give me your thoughts please.