Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I'm going to sleep now, Mommy

Apparently Ellie had a very eventful day yesterday because when I went to put her to sleep, she barely moved a muscle after her body touched the mattress. Usually she wiggles her bottom, lifts the blanket with her legs, runs her fingers across the crib bars, or just plain rolls around. Falling asleep for her is usually a full-contact sport, but not last night. Last night she laid down on her tummy and barely had enough energy to blow me kisses from behind her ear and then pass out.

There is just something precious about how she blows kisses from the side of her head. It's enough to melt my heart.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bun-Bun's Day

Every morning I get to look forward to waking Ellie up, which usually involves her squirmming around the bed, obviously still tired and sleepy. When she finally does get up, she always bursts out "BA-BA" with all might and then jambs Bun-Bun into my face. Every morning, those are her first words and she says them with such conviction that it makes me laugh every time.

Man does she love that Bunny!

Throughout the day, she always knows where Bun-Bun is. If not, she knows where she can find another. If all else fails, she assumes (correctly) that her parents have Bun-Bun in some nearby hidden place. Regardless, the result is that she is confident that Bun-Bun will be there whenever she is needed.

Sometimes Ellie doesn't really need Bun-Bun but wants to see her anyway. I love watching her sqeeze the heck out of the bunny in an attempt to hug her. I do not think that any one could show much love for anything as Ellie does her rabbit.

Yesterday I decided to see if she would have any imagination with Bun-Bun. I was curious to see if she was at the developmental stage yet. When she offered Bun-Bun to me, I took her and started talking to her. Then Bun-Bun had a secret to tell me. She whispered something into my ear and I agreed with her completely. "That Ellie really IS a nice girl! Bun-Bun, you're so smart!" I carried on like this for a few minutes, and finally looked back at Ellie to see what her reaction would be.

Instead of the smiles I was hoping for, she was just looking at me crazy like I had gone crazy. She had this look of complete bafflement on her face. I couldn't help but laugh. But she just continued to stare at me like she has never done before. I wonder if I lost or gained some respect from her in that moment. Who knows, but that look was priceless.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A long post, a great day

We had an awesome day on Saturday. Some friends of ours (Cracker's family) are in town and we finally got to meet their new little girl - adorable. Cracker was great with Ellie. He would run around and hide from her. When she found him, she would squeal with delight. It was adorable.

We also went to the children's museum. We didn't notice that they had a younger toddler room until we were about to leave so most of the day was spent with the older kids. Ellie did amazingly well. We had BunBun ready in case of an emergency but to our surprise we never needed her. Ellie was always surrounded by lots of kids. Some were her age, but most of them were older, but she held up to them.

We spent some time in the room where they have a huge ant hill with a cave you can crawl through. Much to my surprise, she went right in! I remember being really scared of things like that so I went in after her. It was a little crowded for me inside, but Ellie loved it. We got in and she was just still, taking in the weird world world around her. Then sudden a huge toddler-sized squirrel came around the corner and growled at Ellie and ran away. I was convinced she would freak out after that, but instead she just looked at me with a "Did you see that, Mom?!? What the hell was that?" look on her face. So brave. Seriously.

Then we went to play with the puppet theater. She loved the puppets so much that she went right up to the curtain to watch them. There was a little boy about Ellie's age there, who thought this was a great idea. Ellie didn't think it was great to share the space with him so she would push him away. After doing this twice, I told her that she wasn't being very nice and that it was ok if he wanted to do the same things she does. She looked at me. Then I asked her if she could give him a hug. She did! And he got the biggest, goofiest grin on his face that I have EVER seen. It was absolutely adorable.

Ellie got pushed down quite a bit from other kids and got her toys taken away sometimes, but the only other time she really had any issue was when a girl wanted to take her wheel barrel. Ellie started squealing and screaming at this little girl for having the nerve to take her stuff. I was on the other side of the room so I couldn't really do anything about it, but by the time I got over to intervene, Ellie had won the argument. She had her precious wheel barrel. However, she was really upset about what it took to get it and had no desire to keep playing.

It was really fascinating for me to watch her interact with the other kids. She was amazing. I could not believe she gave the little boy a hug and stopped pushing him away once I explained things. And I thought it was really heartbreaking to see that she was upset about the fight over the wheel barrel. I think she had a hard time with the fact that she couldn't get her point across without fighting. She didn't want to hurt the other girl's feelings and when she did, she was really upset about it.

I can't help but think that she is an amazing little person. It seems that more and more of her personality is becoming one of kindness towards other people and I love it. And whether or not I owe it to daycare, I am proud of her for being able to interact with the other kids as well as she did. I can not explain how much I am enjoying this little girl at this moment in her life.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A glimpse into life as a Niffer

Today's email topic being sent around a Mommy Support Group (which, btw, I did not start)is about alternative phrases for "Fart".

So far in the list:
- Toot (This reminds me of a certain friend of mine)
- Woofer (I'll be honest, that came from me. Well, really my mom's word)
- Poof (hehehe... adorable. Imagine a toddler saying this)
- There's a moose loose (again, that came from me, only this time it was my dad's)
- Bung Pwee (Taiwanese)
- Having gas (boring)
- Bottom bubbles (I love this one! You can't turn a fart into anything much cuter than bottom bubbles)

I also recall a certain someone who used to pretend to have a conversation with God whenever she had gas. "Yes, Lord? You want me to do what? Right now? Right here? Well, they're not going to like it!"

Yep. This is my life.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Photo Contest

A friend of mine was responsible for originally showing me the pink octopus costume that Ellie wore last Halloween. She emailed me today with a link to the latest and greatest costumes. I know it's early, but if you want the best, you need to order quickly. Or so she says.

Anyway, upon looking at this year's options for costumes, I came across a photo contest for Halloween pictures. I took a look at some of the entries and thought that my octopus was much cuter. My octopus could kick that lion's @$$!

Anyway, a long thought process ended up with this question:
Is it weird for me to think that it would be fun to enter pictures of Ellie into contests? Should I? If I do, would it hurt my feelings if she's not picked? If I were to do such a thing, and assume it was a normal "cute picture" contest, which pictures are cute even from an unbiased point of view?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Please and Thank You

Ellie started signing "Please" and "Thank you"!!! Well, sort of.

To say "Please", you rub your hand on your chest in a circular motion. Ellie rubs her belly. Close enough and definitely cute enough.

To say "Thank You", you take your hand from your mouth and move it away from your face. Ellie takes her left hand up to the side of her head and moves it away towards her left. It looks more like a "duh!" than anything else. Definitely worth a laugh.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Milk physics

Can someone explain to me how you can microwave some whole milk and have it turn to a solid blob as though it has been bad for days? Ellie does not seem impressed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

The dangerous side of Niffer

Did you know that Niffer lives a dangerous life? I'm always living on the edge... most of the time I don't even have a diaper with me!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ellie Belly at Daycare II

Most importantly, this morning Ellie waved bye-bye to me for the first time. Oh man, she changes so quickly!

More stories to share about my precious little one...

Ellie's best friend started crying one day. She was laying on the floor, quite upset. Ellie walked up to her, laid down next to her and put her arm on her friend's back, almost as though to say "I don't know how I can help, but I'm here."

Ellie has found a new love for art. Though her teacher wasn't planning on having an art session one day, Ellie walked up to a previous piece of work she had done and pointed excitedly at it. Then she ran across the room to the art table and pointed there. "This is what I want to do now and this is where I want to do it." The result was a great picture of purple and green hand-prints!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


There are pictures of Ellie's Mommy and Daddy at daycare and her teacher says that Ellie kept going up and pointing to her loved ones. Apparently after working on it all day, her teacher was able to get Ellie to say "Mama" while pointing to my picture. "Dada" was a different story, even though Ellie would point to him.

My response was something along the lines of "Seriously???" and we went home to practice. I kid you not, this is how it went:

Mommy: Ellie, can you say Mama?
Ellie: Mama.
Mommy: Ellie, can you say Dada?
Ellie: Dada.
Mommy: Ellie, can you say... (interrupted by a car driving by)
Ellie: Gar! (pointing to the car)
Mommy: (almost $#!++ing my pants) What did you say?
Ellie: Gar! (pointing to a parked car) Gar! (pointing to another parked car)
Mommy: (having time to recover from shock) Yeah, yeah, but can you say Mama again?
Ellie: Mama.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


It shouldn't surprise anyone that people get confused about what my daughter's name is. However, what might suprise you is that the most common mistake seems to be hearing me say that her name is Maria. Come on, people! Seriously? The two don't even sound close!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

First public criticism

This last weekend I got my first public parenting criticism. Are you proud? Let me tell you about it...

I was having ice cream with two of the greatest women I know. Well, three women I guess if you count Ellie. Ellie was doing pretty well at keeping herself entertained while Mommy caught up with her friends. She was arranging some empty water bottles and going over to a couch to pound on it or looking out the window - things like that. Even though she wasn't right next to me, I was keeping my eye on her and honestly I was relieved that she wasn't needing me right by her side (she's been particularly Mommy-needy lately for some unknown reason).

Most of the time we were the only people at the ice cream place, but then a couple of ladies came in and sat between us and the couches. When Ellie went over to the couches again, one of the women made a snide comment. You know how it is when someone is rude, they say something just loud enough that you hear, but quiet enough to claim they were talking to themselves. That was this lady.

I spoke up and said "Excuse me, what was the question?" and she faked a look of surprise and said "Oh, I was just wondering if you wanted your child over there and if you were even paying attention."

Umm hello? Seriously? I'm a mother. Of course I'm paying attention. It's not in our blood to ignore our children. Besides, is she doing anything that is bothering you? She's behaving herself. She's not screaming. She's not crying. She's not being loud. She's not being obnoxious. She's not touching you. She's minding her own business and doing things that only toddlers can understand why they're entertaining.

But since I was a little surprised by her comment I just went over to Ellie and walked her back to the table and tried to entice her with more ice cream. For whatever reason, though, she wasn't impressed with Mommy's choice of flavors this time so, though keeping her happy near me was short-lived, we had also reached the end of our stay so we left.

I'd like to think that I'm a good mother and that Ellie is well behaved in public, and I know I would be naive if I assumed I would never be criticized. But I'll be honest, I expected the criticism to happen when Ellie was having a fit or something. You know, the kind of behavior that gives any innocent bystander a headache.

And I was surprised that I didn't know what to say to this lady. Her simple comment made me question myself and it made me feel young and little next to her older, wiser presence. And that bothered me because it was stupid. It was all stupid. And I knew that.

I wonder what the best way to handle such a situation would be.

Friday, July 11, 2008


My little one has gotten really good at the walking and running thing. She has now reached the point where she often runs to where ever it is she is going. In case you do not know how to do it properly, there are five steps you need to follow.

1. Point your body in the right direction.
2. Throw yourself at the floor in front of you.
3. Move your feet to keep up with the rest of your body.
4. Keep your arms as straight and as far behind you as possible (for stability).
5. Concentrate and squeal.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

An update on patience

A while ago I wrote about how Ellie lacked the patience to even try other options when she was playing with puzzles. I just wanted to write a quick post to let you guys know that it was definitely a developmental thing. You'll be happy to hear that if she now gets frustrated that the larger blue cup does not fit into the smaller green cup, she'll listen to you suggest putting the green cup into the blue one instead. Then she'll do it! Yay!

Pictures! Pictures! Pictures!

I swear the time goes by quicker and quicker... Sorry for the massive picture update, but I don't want to hold anything back from those who don't see Ellie as often as we would like.

April Pictures
May Pictures
June Pictures

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Home Decorator

We went to Oklahoma last weekend for the 4th and had a lot of fun visiting Pappy. While I was in the laundry room trying to help fold some sheets, Ellie found a set of 8 placemats. They were red on one side and black on the other. She grabbed the first one and left the room only to come back empty handed. She grabbed the next one and left the room only to come back empty handed. This continued until she had no more placemats. "What the heck is she doing with them?" I wondered. As you can see, she was decorating the hallway! Note the relative equal distance between the mats. Note the fact that they all have the black side up. Obviously she thought this went better with the rest of the decor than the red. When I turned one over, she politely went to it and turned it back to black, then stood and proudly looked at her masterpiece.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The hunt for the perfect picture

You have no idea how hard I have tried to get a great picture of these two little fellows together! It seems as though the laws of physics somehow make it nearly impossible for a young toddler and a puppy to look at the camera at the same time. If it was a cute picture of Ellie, then it typically showed the puppy's butt. If it was a cute picture of Merlin, then the toddler had one of those horrible candid shot looks on her face. It was hopeless... until this day!

On this day, Ellie wanted to walk the dog herself. And by "walk" I mean "get pulled along by the dog until she falls over - Get up and repeat". She LOVED it!

I wasn't complaining myself because it gave me some great pictures. Look at the expression on her face!

These two guys are going to get along just fine.

Monday, July 07, 2008


A comment that MJH posted a few days ago has brought a thought to my mind that I have had previously on occasion. I've gone back and forth on whether or not I should include specific information on my family on my blog. I have a friend who, up until recently, did not include any actual names in her stories.

The obvious reason for this would be the safety of the kids, but I do wonder how big of an issue it really is. I can go into the obvious list of pros and cons, but instead I think I will just take a poll.

Please comment on what you would do. Would you protect your family and not include specific names, places, or even pictures? Or would you just hope for the best and post what you know your friends and family would like to see? Or would you do something in between, such as no names but pictures are ok? Be honest. If it were you and your children...

Silly kids and the games they play

The other day when we were leaving for a walk, we passed by the group of neighborhood kids who were playing in the yard like they usually do. This time, however, they were all pretending to be puppies.

Boy 1: My name is Merlin.
Boy 2: No, remember, you're a Husky. I am Merlin.

It's nice to know our puppy has been such a hit with the locals.

The little girl from next door was the only one who wasn't focused on the puppy. Instead, as always, she went over to Ellie to shake her hand. She is so sweet and so good with Ellie. I'd like to come up with a way to let them spend more time together. It will be interesting to see what kind of kid Ellie becomes, but if she is anything like this little girl from next door, I'll consider myself very lucky.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Ellie Belly at Daycare

A couple cute stories I thought I'd share:

1. A baby at daycare was crying the other day and apparently Ellie walked up to the baby, looked at her with a serious face, and then offered Bun Bun to help calm the baby down.

2. They have this big plastic tree in the playground that the young ones can crawl into. When Ellie got frustrated that she couldn't get her legs out from underneathe her, she started screaming. Apparently it echos a lot in there. She stopped screaming, looked around and decided that the echo was too loud. So she started sreaming again, only this time she was covering her ears.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

My Buddy Bun-Bun

I don't think I've ever posted a picture of Ellie and her best friend. Meet Bun-Bun. Hmm... would it be more accurate to say "best friends?" There are seven of them, after all. Is Bun-bun a singular friend or multiple friends? Maybe she just has multiple personalities. Either way, Ellie loves her. Them. Her. She loves Bun-Bun!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Most popular kid on the block

My daughter is loved by all, always has been, but now I can honestly say that she is the most popular kid on the block. For the last few days we have gotten multiple kids coming to our door and knocking. We can't get rid of them. 2:00 knock. 3:00 knock. If we're outside, they come running. There's tons of them. The kids come from every direction just to spend time with us. You've never seen so many kids in one spot before. Ok, maybe you have, but not like this. They're so excited to play!

Oh sure, they're excited about the puppy, but we all know that's just a front.