Friday, February 29, 2008

Bear Hug

Oh my gosh! If there is one thing that can make up for how hard it is to leave my little girl at daycare, it's the response I get from her when I pick her up! She was so happy to see me tonight! I have never been hugged so hard by such a small person! It was the best feeling in the world.

Speeding Ticket

I started a temporary job today.

On the way back, I got a speeding ticket. The police officer asked me if there was a reason I was driving so fast. What could I tell him?

Uh, yeah... I'm rushing to see my husband for lunch in time to rush home and clean our apartment in time to rush over and pick up my daughter from her first day of daycare, who I am sure has grown another 2 months since the last time I saw her!!!

Ugh. Suck it up, Niffer, and pay the damn fine!!!

Monday, February 25, 2008


With one year birthdays approaching, there is an email thread going around my mommy group that surprises me. There is a debate about whether or not we should give certain vaccinations to our babies. I'm a little surprised* because it NEVER occurred to me to NOT give Ellie whatever the doctor says she needs. I guess that goes to show that parenthood is different for everyone.

* Ok, I'll be honest... I am more than just a little surprised.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Baby DJ

Ellie has a new toy. It's a great toy. Or a horrible one. Depending on who you are. Aunt Erin fondly refers to it as the Baby DJ station. Watching Ellie playing on it is quite humorous. All that is missing is a scratching disk sound.


A B C D PIG!!!
Square - it has four EARS!!
Eyes - they help us see our MOUTH!
Circle, it goes A B C!
Nose - it helps us smell our COW!
Blue like Cookie CHICKEN!
Mouth - it helps us sing and CIRCLE!
...We have eyes and ears and a mouth and a TRIANGLE!

On a slightly different note, I've had a version of the songs stuck in my head with lyrics that aren't quite right either:
Nose, it helps us smell our friends. Hi there friend!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Unemployed Mother

Let me tell you, without going into any details, this whole "take care of an infant and look for a job at the same time" is not meshing well with my "Oh $#!+ I'm unemployed" mindset!!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Well Duh!

Ellie is pretty good at drinking from a glass. Well, good for her age. However, it's still messy as one might imagine. She's never really liked sippy cups, at least not with the part that requires her to actually suck from the cup which defeats the purpose. So, I've been thinking for a while now that it sure would be nice if she could use a straw.

How do you teach a baby to use a straw? No idea. I would put the straw in her mouth and all she would do was chew on it and think it's a new toy. I even mentioned this to multiple people and no one had any brilliant ideas. Something so simple, yet so tough.

Then today I had lunch with my very wise mother. I once again mentioned how nice it would be, but had no idea how to teach her. My mother said "Well, you do this, of course..." and then she put her finger over one end of the straw so that it would hold the water in, and then put the straw into Ellie's mouth. Within minutes both Ellie and I understood how effective the straw was at getting water.

Next step was to keep our finger on the end so that Ellie would have to suck at the straw. Finally, the next step was to keep the straw in the cup.

By dinner time, Ellie is practically a pro at using a straw.

Well duh!
You have no idea how long I've been wondering how to teach her such a fine skill!

List of games

Instead of posting something I already had written, I decided to share with you (that's you, K) the games we like to play:

1. SO BIG!! This is Ellie's latest game. We ask her "How big is Ellie?" and everyone (including her) raises their hands over their heads and says "SO big!" This is one that she initiates too. She likes to get people to say "So big" by raising her hands over her head.

2. I'M GONNA GET YOU!! This is by far Ellie's favorite game and one she initiates all the time. I chase her as she crawls across the room. Sometimes I wait longer than others to increase the suspense. This is an extreme sport for her because sometimes I tickle her, sometimes I just grab her foot, but other times I lift her by her legs and swing her around the room. SHE LOVES THIS!!!

3. BALL This was her first game and she still likes it quite a bit. We roll a ball to one another. Without fail, she gets so excited and ends up closing the gap between us, which defeats the purpose but it's funny non the less. I always ask her if Mommy can have the ball and then she throws it to me. It's also nice and low-key for Mommy because I ask her to get the ball whenever it rolls away. =)

4. Where's Bun-Bun? Since she loves her bunny, this was an instant hit. We'd walk around the house asking her where Bun Bun was and when she finally sees it, she gets all excited. We have also extended this to other objects that she sees a lot, like the pine tree outside our front door.

5. PEAK A BOO! Ellie likes it when we play peek a boo, but not like Thomas does. He'll play right back. It was cute.

6. Patty cake. Ellie will play patty cake (and by this I mean she holds her hands up for me to touch) but she likes it. Along the same lines, she'll give you a high-five.

I can't think of any others right now. What about you? Do share!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Most brilliant baby EVER

My little girl is so smart! I can not believe how many things she understands! It's so easy to assume she doesn't understand us when she talks, but she has really proved us wrong!

A couple weeks ago, I asked her where the doggie was. Her response was to fuss and crawl all the way across the house to the door where we let the dog out an hour before! After doing this again, I wised up and started paying attention to the things she finds interesting and found out that she understands at least the following:

Can Mommy/Daddy have a kiss?
Where is ______?
Get _______.
Pine Tree

Want proof? The other day I was reading her a book and said "The bear has one balloon. Do you see the balloon?" and Ellie looked up towards the ceiling in search of this fabled balloon. God I love how much she makes me laugh.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Pointing Rocks!

I can keep up with how much and how quickly this little girl learns things! Doesn't she know that she should be limited to one major change in a given day?

Recently she's learned to point. Granted it's with her entire hand, but still... She points to things that she is interested in. Strangely enough, that's mostly chandeliers (we've seen a lot while looking at houses) and balloons.

Let me tell you that going to Safeway right before Valentine's Day was quite an adventure in our family. It was like we were in Balloon Heaven.

Ellie - (pointing) Eh!
Niffer - Oh, look it's a balloon!
Ellie - (pointing) Eh!
Niffer - Another balloon!
Ellie - (pointing) Eh!
Niffer - Another balloon?
Ellie - (pointing) Eh!
Niffer - Yep, another balloon!
Ellie - (pointing) Eh!
Niffer - Got it, there's a balloon.
Ellie - (pointing) Eh!
Niffer - You don't say!
Ellie - (pointing) Eh!
Ellie - (pointing) Eh!
Niffer -
Ellie - (pointing) Eh!
Niffer -
Ellie - (pointing) Eh!

Friday, February 15, 2008

The best game EVER!

It started out as a means of stopping Ellie from getting into something I didn't want her touching, but it ended up turning into the most fun game EVER!!! Here is how it goes:

- Player 1 crawls quickly towards something interesting and off-limits (or just pretends to do so).
- Player 2 says slowly "I'm gonna get you!"
- Player 1 crawls quicker.
- Player 2 repeats "I'm gonna get you!"
- Player 1 squeals with delight.
- Player 2 grabs Player 1 by the ankle.
- Player 1 giggles and giggles.

Variations on the game:
- Player 2 can decide when to grab player 1, waiting longer at times than others only adds to the suspense.
- If Player 1 stops and turns around to make sure Player 2 is really chasing her, then Player 1 should try not to laugh at the fact that stopping makes it easier to catch her.
- When Player 2 grabs Player 1, it is best to vary the method. Ankles, tummy tickles, flying through the air, rasberries, etc. are all fair game.
- Player 1 may not be able to stand up properly due to the fact that it is impossible to squeal with delight, try to get away, AND stand all at the same time.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


What do you suppose it is about a helium balloon that totally fascinates children? Even at such a young age, Ellie LOVES them. She'll point to them at the store and if you don't acknowledge what she's looking at, she'll then squirm and turn her back and arch and twist and jerk and squeel until you do.

How does she know that the thing up in the air is any different than say a tall sign? I really wonder if it has to do with the first time she had a balloon, where she dropped it and looked down for it. But could she remember that far back?

I suppose it would make sense that they are fascinating object... afterall, they are one of the only things (and certainly the only one Ellie has really had any exposure to) that defies the laws of gravity. And that law is one Ellie loves.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Welcome Home, Baby

Other than being closer to more family, I did not think it would make a huge difference, being back in Colorado. I was pleasently surprised to find out that I was wrong.

I have been to the grocery store with Ellie a few times since returning and without fail, there seems to be more people who coo and smile at Ellie than there were in Maryland. More people pull themselves away from their shopping lists and make an effort to interact with her than I remember back East.

I suppose it could be my imagination, but I don't think it is. When I first moved out there, I remember thinking that everyone out was different than I was used to. It is not fair to say they're unfriendly because that's not it. They just don't step out of their daily lives to say hi to a stranger like people often do here.

And I gotta tell you... It makes a huge difference with a baby! I wonder if that's why she has suddenly become a social butterfly - she notices that she gets better reactions from people. Whatever the reason, I'm glad for it because it is so much fun to see her face light up when she realizes that she can make someone else smile.

On top of that... King Soopers offers free helium balloons. You can't get better than that!!!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Cats & Dogs

Poor Ellie. She loves the cats so much and goes after them with such energy and huge smiles, only to have the cat get up and walk away as soon as she reaches them.

On the other hand, the dogs in her life just let her crawl all over them.

I wonder which she likes better. The challenge or the reward?

Do you think she'll be a cat person like her mommy or a dog person like her daddy? I would tell you which I would prefer but I think I might be a little biased.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Well behaved baby

We're told a lot that we have a well-behaved baby. Maybe it's that we still haven't recovered from the early months, but I wonder what baby everyone seems to be talking about!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Baby Do Over

I know that this is outdated but I figured I'd finally post it just so that the information isn't lost forever.

List of things we would do differently now that we know what we know.

Put baby on a "routine" much earlier... ie Sleep, Eat, Awake (in that order)
Swaddle w/ one arm at 2-3 months
Daily bottle
Bed time routine earlier
2 Hour wake periods
put her in crib earlier (2 months) instead of swing

Monday, February 04, 2008

Daddy's back!

Michael drove across the country this last weekend so we are once again a happy family. It is really really really really really really really nice to have him back, and better yet I think that Ellie recognizes him.

Actually, I'm not sure. As it turns out, we have ourselves a little social butterfly. She loves people! She has been so good with all the new people in her life, and it's been a lot of fun to watch her interact with everyone. I know I say this a lot, but I certainly enjoy having her around more and more every day.

Back to my original thought... Daddy is back. And does Daddy think that his little girl has changed much in the last two weeks?

Of course.

She's taller.
She weighs more.*
She talks more.
She smiles more.
She has more sounds - more like words.
She crawls faster.
She crawls further.
She claps.
She points.
She fusses when you take a good toy away from her.
She has a new sound for when she wants Bun Bun.
She waves bye-bye.

Hmmm... To think that I barely noticed.

* Actually, I did notice this one. My arms are killing me! I swear she gained a couple pounds overnight!!!