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Friday, August 29, 2008

Miss Anna banned

We stopped by to say hi to Miss Anna last night after picking Ellie up from daycare. Ellie loves Miss Anna and it was obvious that she remembered the old room and was comfortable there because she instantly dropped BunBun as though to say "I know I don't need her here".

Miss Anna told me about how she is transitioning a few other toddlers into Ellie's guppy room. Apparently the other day when Ellie saw Miss Anna come in, she got really excited and started running in circles and then ended up sitting in Miss Anna's lap for quite some time afterwards. Cute.

Then she went on to tell me that she has been banned from taking the little ones over there. The task has been given to someone else because Ellie gets so upset when Miss Anna leaves. I find that somewhat funny and sad at the same time.

On the bright side of things, Ellie's best friend Brynn is transitioning. We saw her the other day and Ellie's face lit up bright. She walked right up to her, said HI and then took some of Brynn's banana. Just like old times. I predict these girls are going to be great friends.

But in the end, I still want Miss Anna back.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

BREAKING NEWS!!!

Today marks the first day that Ellie did not cry when I left her in her new room at daycare. OH MY GOSH! How exciting!

These past few weeks have been so hard on me because she has cried every time I've left. I knew it was getting better every day because she would cry a little less each time, but it was still hard to deal with. In the infant center, Ellie would walk in with me, help me put her food away, then ***SHE*** would put Bunbun into the crib and walk into the other room to say hi to the teachers. There were no tears. There was no need for Bunbun. So to go from that to daily crying and a need for Bunbun's constant support... let's just say it was draining for me.

But today she didn't cry! Woohoo!

On a somewhat related note, I talked to the mommy of Ellie's favorite friend. She says that her daughter has never cried when she leaves and sometimes it hurts her feelings. She tends to think "come on, don't you care that Mommy is leaving you?" I thought it was an interesting perspective. Every parent wants their child to be happy, so it's easy for forget the reason behind the crying. All the crying is saying is "I like spending time with you, please stay." As hard as it is to see, I guess it's a compliment to have Ellie want me to stay with her.

So we'll see where it goes from here. It's definitely easier to leave her when she's not screaming. However, I do get the feeling that it will still happen because she sees all the other kids crying when their parents leave. My theory is that they are teaching her that crying is what should be done.

But again, she didn't cry today! Woohoo!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Signing

One of the most rewarding ways in which we know Ellie is learning is to see her use signs to get her point across. Her first sign was "All done" and that took her a long way. Then she learned "Please" and that helped cut down on her whining. Then Miss Anna told us that she knew "Thank you" and blowing kisses, though she signs both by hitting the side of her head. Finally she's started with "More" and "Help".

But the best part is when she signs without us asking her to. When she blows me kisses without me initiating them. Wonderful. And recently, when you give her something that she really wanted, she'll sign "Thank you" without us asking her to.

I feel like it's proof that 1. She is learning to associate things with their meaning without us needing to remind her, 2. She is turning out to be a polite little girl and 3. She is just so darn cute.

Next I want her to learn "I'm sorry" because she's starting to test our limits and reactions.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Cowgirl Ellie

Today Ellie decided she wanted to wear her boots. Her boots were a birthday present from Goma and Gopa to go along with the beautiful rocking horse that they made her.

Upon getting to daycare, the teacher saw her and quickly turned on some cowboy music. Ellie loves music and apparently traditional cowboy campfire type songs are no exception. As soon as she heard the banjo begin, she started dancing.

Where is a good cowboy hat and camera when you need one?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Overalls Veto

I bought Ellie a wonderful pair of cute overalls. And she has refused to wear them 4 days in a row. She has also refused to wear anything orange. She loves her pink clothes, but Mommy is tired of pink.

I guess we've started the age where she has opinions of her own. But pink? I know I loved pink when I was younger, but there are so many other wonderful colors out there!

And besides, the overalls are just plain adorable. They are a must in any toddler's wardrobe because I say so. Having her own opinions on colors - I'll deal with that, but not liking overalls is simpy not an option. Maybe I need to find pink overalls.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Niffer's Bubble

I had my little bubble that I lived in popped today. Or at least temporarily so.

I lost my cell phone at work yesterday, which drove me crazy because it wasn't like I to go a lot of different areas at work. I'm at my desk, in the lab, or in the bathroom. Anyway, today Michael discovered that it was used to call a couple numbers yesterday afternoon. When he tried to call those numbers, someone answered in Spanish. Now I don't want to point fingers, but since the bathroom is where I originally thought I left it, I can't help but assume the cleaning lady took it.

At this point, I have deactivated the phone and so it is useless to whoever has it. I hope that means it will be turned into lost and found, but who am I kidding? If you stole something and then it became useless, what would you do? I think I'd toss it in the trash. Get rid of any evidence.

Beyond the obvious annoyance on dealing with the numbers and pictures I've lost, I'm finding myself quite disappointed. I am one of those people who typically assumes the best in people. I tend to give someone my respect as soon as I meet them. They don't have to prove to me that they are a good person. In fact, it usually takes a lot to convince me they're not.

So when I'm experiencing something like this, it makes my heart hurt. I try to see the best in people and treat them like I would like to be treated. And stealing from someone is definitely not something I would ever consider doing. Period.

Yet I still find myself hoping that they have a good heart. Maybe they can't afford a phone themselves. Who can blame them for wanting one? Maybe now that it's useless to them, they will do the right thing and turn it in to lost and found. They are good people too, right? I certainly hope so because if they don't then I will find myself giving the cleaning lady the evil eye for quite some time!

Sometimes I find it hard to not get discouraged about the world that I'm raising my daughter in. My friend just posted about how her son can't give hugs at school because PDAs aren't allowed. People steal. People hurt others. People lie. People cheat. I hope that I can still manage to show Ellie that the world is good and that people are good, but I do wonder at what point will she learn that not everyone is nice? When will her perfect little, innocent bubble pop? And will I be present to offer a bandaid to help it heal?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Your son is adorable!

Just when I think that Ellie is starting to get cute curly, girly hair... I get a great compliment from a coworker: "I saw the picture of your son on your computer and he's adorable!"

She was referring to the one of Ellie standing next to Merlin (the puppy) in her jeans and her shirt that says "Cuter than most." It's one of my favorite pictures but I *NEVER* thought she looked like a boy in it! Mothers can be so blind sometimes, can't we?

Monday, August 18, 2008

In my daughter's eyes


In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes


I wish I could take credit for these lyrics, but nope. It's a song by Martina McBride, written by James Slater. I heard it on the radio the other day and it brought tears to my eyes. Just wanted to share.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Videos

I have no idea why I never noticed the option of adding videos to my blog, but now I feel obligated to post all the cute videos from the past! However, I will force myself to limit it to only the more "recent" ones.

Ellie's Balloon (11 months)
video

Ellie Eating Paper (12 months)
video

Ellie Steps (12 months)
video

Ellie Walking (13 months)
video

Ellie Dancing (14 months)
video

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The good, the bad and the ugly

Ellie has moved into the big kids center and has been in her new classroom for a week now. I wish we could say things were going well. They're not going terribly. She's sleeping better there becaues the entire center shuts down for nap time and she's not interrupted by crying babies. She eats all her food, but she's always been a good eater (peer-pressure, remember?). In the end I think that Ellie just needs more time to adjust to her new surroundings and she just doesn't understand why the change happened.

Regardless, we miss Miss Anna. Ellie LOVES Miss Anna. In fact, I tried hard to convince her to move into the older room with Ellie. If you don't believe me, you can ask Miss Anna herself. I didn't think it was too much to ask of her to follow Ellie until she was off to college. But alas, Miss Anna was strong. She stayed in the Bear room and Ellie is now a Guppy.

I'll be honest that leaving Miss Anna is hard on us (I wish I had a digital picture of the two of them together. These were taken by her, though). It got me thinking about how it is going to be difficult to leave any great teacher in the future, and that's not a part of parenting that I ever really thought about before.

Then today I "met" another Boulder Mommy* that has a blog, and read about her experience with an absolutely horrible teacher and it brought tears to my eyes. I can not imagine how heartbreaking that would be to watch your child go through something like that.

Finally, there are the ugly teachers. Don't get me started on how I feel about them! =)

There certainly are so many challenges about parenting that I never imagined! It's a good thing there are so many great surprises along the way to make up for it!

* You really should read the post.
Life and Times of a Mom on Wheelz

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Escape Artistry 101

Recently I've been coming into Ellie's room in the morning to find her in a bit of a pickle. I can only come up with one explanation for it, which I will share with you right now.

In trying to determine what Ellie could have been thinking, I tried to put myself into her mind:

Night 1:
(upon waking in the middle of the night) You know what? I don't want to stay here anymore. I want to go see Mommy and Daddy. I think I will do just that. Maybe even surprise them! Hmmm... obviously I could walk to them if only it weren't for the closed door. And obviously I could get to the door to deal with that if only it weren't for this crib. How do I get out of this crib? Hmmm, maybe if I go through the bars! First, I'll stick one leg through. Good! We're on our way to freedom! Now, we'll stick the other leg through! Excellent! I think I can feel the floor! Now, we just push, right? Wait. Houston, we have a problem. What do I do about this bar between my legs? Hey! GET OUT OF MY WAY! Oh dear. I'm stuck. Ugh. Ack. Push. Pull. Scream bloody murder for 30 seconds and pass out. (Mommy finds me with my legs sticking out of the crib, and my toes barely touching the floor. Luckily I was able to slump over and still fall asleep on my tummy).

Night 2:
(upon waking in the middle of the night) You know what? I don't want to stay here anymore. I want to see Mommy and Daddy. Obviously last night's effort didn't work. I was definitely doing it all wrong. I have another idea, though! This time, I'll put my leg in here. And my other leg in there. Now I'm not stuck on my tummy like last night! Ah ha! Take that crib! Oh, wait. Hey! How is it that I'm stuck again? I did it completely different! Help! Help! I'm stuck! Ugh. Ack. Push. Pull. Scream bloody murder for many minutes. (Mommy finds me sitting with my legs sticking out of the crib, looking awfully defeated).

Night 3:
(upon waking in the middle of the night) You know what? I don't want to stay here anymore. I want to see Mommy and Daddy. And this time, I have a solution! Obviously sticking your legs into individual slots doesn't work, regardless of which way you're facing. So, the only other option is to stick my legs into the SAME slot. Yes! That's it! There will be no bar between my legs preventing my escape! First leg. Second leg. Good. Good. Bad. Bad. My butts too big to fit through! No, wait. Ahem. It's my DIAPER that is too big! Ugh. Ack. Push. Pull. Scream bloody murder for 30 seconds. Pass out. (Mommy finds me laying on my side with both legs sticking through the bars).

What's her plan for tonight? I guess we'll just wait and see, but the poor little girl must be getting tired of waking up with sore legs! Those crib bars are not very nice to squishy baby legs.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Best compliment yet

Saturday Miss Anna babysat Ellie so that I could surprise Michael with a date night. My intent was for him to answer the door and see her standing there, but the silly boy started making me dinner. Ack! Does he have to be so good to me? J/K

Anyway, Miss Anna watched Ellie for the night and I thought it would be a great match because they already know each other. Ellie loves Miss Anna. Her eyes lit up when she saw her, and then she seemed to go show off all her toys. Cute.

At the end of the night we were talking to Miss Anna about how it will still be a while before we try for the next child because the parenting amnesia from months 1-3 still hasn't set in yet. She's great now, but Michael still remembers those early days. Miss Anna said "It's funny that you say that because Ellie is the first baby I've ever watched that made me want one of my own."

Ah, seriously? That is so sweet!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Bell Butts

Rumor has it that when Miss Anna asked Ellie where her belly button was, she lifted her shirt, pointed and said "Bell Butt". I've tried, God knows I've tried, to repeat this but I have not gotten the same results. She lifts the shirt. She points. But sadly, she does not say what I can only assume would be incredibly adorable to hear.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Traveling

I saw this on an old friend's blog and thought it would be cool to try it out.

I'd like to think that Michael and I have done a lot of traveling together, but I also hope that the traveling hasn't come to an end just because we now have a family.

Places I've visited in the US (I tried not to count the places that I only drove through to get from point A to point B):

visited 30 states (60%)
Create your own visited map of The United States

Apparently I forgot that Oregon existed. Doesn't it look lonely? But heck, 60% isn't too shabby, is it?

Now let's look at the world:

visited 15 states (6.66%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Now don't be too impressed... I didn't exactly walk across that entire land mass that people fondly refer to as Siberia, but it does make me want to fill in the white space between it and Europe. A measely 6.66% of the world, huh? I wonder how high that number will be in, say 30 years from now? I think about how many places my mom had been to by the time she was my age and it gives me hope. She hadn't been across the border until a few years ago and now her map is probably more colorful than mine (though most likely because the countries she has visited are larger than those in Europe).

And last, but not least, India:

visited 0 states (0%)
Create your own visited map of India

Ok, I admit it. I've never been there, but I really wanted to participate!

I'd like to look at this sort of thing years from now and see lots more red. Do you think Ellie would like to travel to exotic lands with her dorky parents when she gets a little older? If not, then maybe we can expand our local exposure. What kind of camping do they have in Mississipi anyway?

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

27 Jennifers

I heard a song the other day that made me laugh:

"I went to school with 27 Jennifers
16 Jenns, 10 Jennies, and then there was her."

We definitely picked Ellie's name partly because it was not on the list of popular names given by the Social Security website. As a fellow Jennifer, who is married to a Michael, we went out of our way to not do that to our little one.

I guess the down-side of the decision is that it cuts down on the chances of her having a song written for her.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mommy cliques

I have recently been asking myself why I continue to stay on this Mommy Email list. It seems like whenever I post an email with a question, no one responds. The only time I ever got a response was due to the Pox Party debate, and it was somewhat insulting. Maybe the mothers all know each other and so they don't respond as well to new comers. Who knows, but I have been asking myself if I've even received any useful information from them yet. In the end, I'm not sure I have. Maybe product suggestions, like which cloth diapers to use (I'm thinking of transitioning). But I am getting tired of putting my questions out there and not getting anything in return. It makes me feel like I'm in high school again, just watching the popular Mommies from the corner.

Note to self:

Do not ask Elmo to potty train my daughter. Given as a response to an email asking for potty training advice:

"Whatever you do...don't watch the Elmo potty training video. My MIL got it for our son and there is a song in there called accidents happen. My 80% potty trained kiddo decided after watching the video that it was cool to pee on the floor and burst into song! Yes for 2 months he would just go then sing that blasted song."

Poor mother. I feel a little guilty at the fact that I couldn't stop laughing when I tried to picture the scene in my mind. I'm sure Murphy will get me for admitting that.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Pox party

You learn something everyday, and what I learned late last week was that I apparently have strong feelings on vaccinating your children. Who would have thought?

It started with a post from a mother in the email list I joined:

"Anyone interested in a pox party or posting and having a party when you know your kids have it. I have 2 under the age of 4 and would love to get them exposed before too late. And at that, anyone have pox right now?"

And for all intents and purposes, it ended with a post from another mother to invite local mothers to a yahoo group for local pox parties:
"This group is designed to help bring together people in Colorado who have chicken pox or other childhood diseases and people who would like to expose their children to those diseases in order to gain immunity. This group is not a place to discuss or debate purposeful exposure or vaccination. Any discussion along those lines will be deleted."

I will try not to go into details on how I feel about the topic, but please believe me that I sent out some strong worded emails late last week. It took me by surprise that in this day and age people are still having pox parties, especially when there is a vaccine for it. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand why one would want to spread out vaccinations, but I fail to fully understand the argument against vaccines. It just baffles me that people still go out of their way to intentionally infect their children with diseases when it's not necessary. And the group? Bringing together children with chicken pox or other childhood diseases? Well let's just say I'm probably not really invited.

Ugh. I need to stop. Honestly it makes me stomach churn and that takes me by surprise. I'm usually so good at standing back and accepting that people have different opinions on topics. Apparently it's not all topics. I wonder why that is. Do I really care how these people decide to care for their children? Or is it that I'm upset about how it could potentially cause my own child harm?

Ack. Stop it, Niffer. Stop rambling on and on like a mad woman.

Friday, August 01, 2008

What does a bear turn into?

A guppy, of course!

Today is Ellie's first full day in the main daycare center (up until now she's been in the infant center). She has been transitioning all week and apparently yesterday she dissed her beloved Miss Anna when she went to go pick her up. Wow! I didn't think that would ever happen!

The downside of all this is that the process to get a bear to transition into a guppy is a difficult one (as you can imagine), and it required a lot of help from a certain bunny. I have never seen Bun-Bun so distraught before. She was soaking from the tips of her corners all the way up through her head, and out her ears. It was like she was tossed into a washing machine and never put into the dryer. I had NO IDEA that a child could soak a stuffed animal to that level solely from sucking on it! Yuck.

And of course, today was really difficult for me because Ellie was very upset with the idea of me leaving her there. I guess I can't really blame her. It is the first time I've ever left her there before, but it breaks my heart to leave her when she is crying. Bun-Bun, get to work!