Pages

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

So lucky

So very lucky.

Big Sister Quote of the Day XVI

I don't wanna feed da baby all by myself because... because... I'm naked!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Plans for the future

While watching "A whole new world" from Alladin:

Ellie: Hey, Mommy, I have an idea!
Mommy: What's that?
Ellie: I know what we can do!
Mommy: What?
Ellie: When we bof get bigger, do you want to ride on a carpet wif me?
Mommy: A magic carpet ride?
Ellie: Yeah, jus like Princes Jasmine and dis guy?
Mommy: I would love to! That would be fun!
Ellie: It would be lots of fun. Dat's a good idea, right Mommy?
Mommy: Right.
Ellie: But not today. Maybe when we're bof bigger.
Mommy: Ok.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas

As hectic as I sometimes feel like the holidays are, I am reminded that it's really all about two small things. Nothing else matters.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mary Did You Know?

Have you ever heard the song "Mary did you know?"

Let's for a moment forget the fact that Mary was a virgin (I think she'd be a little suspicious about what was going on if she were)...

The words really hit me hard. In particular, "Mary did you know... And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God."

It makes me think about my own children differently. When I'm holding Addie, she's just a little baby so dependent on me. Mary's baby was the same. I'm guessing she had no idea (though I'm sure I'll be told wrong). It's impossible to imagine all the things a little baby can do when they depend on you for absolutely everything.

My baby Addie may never walk on water or calm a storm with her hand, but imagine the things she may be able to accomplish?? Maybe she will rule the nations? Or maybe she'll start smaller like give sight to a blind man? Give hearing to the deaf?

The point is that I just don't know the amazing things this little baby might accomplish in her life. I don't know what sorts of technologies she's going to help create. I don't know the lives she will change. All I know is that she changed mine.

I look at my children, and though they may not be "the son of God," I am awed by the thought of everything they are and will be in years to come. I am humbled to know that all they need right now is for me to hold them and love them.
Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Big square with a holy moly inside

Our recent favorite toy is a set of blocks that each have a letter on them. We make squares out of them and long rainbows. Ellie wanted to make a really really big square so we set out to make the biggest square possible. If the square is filled in, the biggest possible is 5x5, but she wasn't satisfied. That square was the same size as all the other squares we made yesterday. So Mommy had a good idea and made a square without blocks inside. The biggest we can make is 7x7, with two blocks left over.

Mommy: Where do we put the two extra blocks?
Ellie: We can just put them in here (places them inside the square).
Mommy: Wow! That's a big square!
Ellie: Holy moly!
Mommy: It's a holy moly square, look Daddy!
Daddy: Wow! That's a big square with a lot of holy moly inside of it!
Ellie: (removes the two extra blocks) Now it's just a big square, Daddy. The holy moly is all gone, Daddy.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WOW! I say WOW!!!

Check it out! The Prosthetics program that I was a part of in MD has made it to the cover of National Geographic! How awesome is that?!?

I have to say that I have mixed feelings about that project. I have never before, and most likely never will again, had an opportunity to be involved in such an important project. Imagine the number of lives that can and will be changed with this new "bionic arm"?!? As an engineer, you can not ask for a more rewarding program.

Or can you? I was only involved at the beginning of the game. I helped design one of the nodes that moved the wrist and the node that would provide tactile feedback to the patient - way back when the Revolutionizing Prosthetics 2009 program started in 2006. Unfortunately it was such an aggressive program that it burnt out a lot of fantastic engineers. I "got out" just in time because Ellie was born the Spring of 2007 and we moved back to Colorado to be closer to family in early 2008.

I didn't get burnt out. It's a shame when I think of the effect that this program had on some of my amazing colleagues, but what do they think now? They're on the cover of National Geographic! Look at what their hard work has resulted in?! People said it couldn't be done. I'm not sure how many of us engineers believed we could actually do it, but we did. Or they did - finished what I started.

Part of me wishes I had stayed to the end of the project, but I know that I would have been burnt out too. Who knows what kind of effect it would have had on my family life. A demanding project like that does not mesh well with starting a new family. But I can not express how proud I am that I was involved, even if just at the beginning, and how proud I am of those I used to work next to for pulling it all off. There are some amazing engineers out there and I had the honor of being in their presence, and possibly even considered as one of them.

I hope my daughters are proud of their Mommy. I'm sure they'll be proud of their Daddy because he does all sorts of things for NASA (the only way you can get cooler than that is if you're an actual astronaut), but maybe they will look at this one piece of technology and know that once upon a time, their Mommy wasn't too shabby either.

Wordless Wednesday XX

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Big Sister Quote of the Day XV

After showing Ellie her ornament for the year, she brings it up to her little sister and says, "See Addie? Is me and is you. I made it for you! See?"

Monday, December 21, 2009

A little rough

This weekend was a little rough on us. I think it's harder on Ellie to spend the whole weekend seeing how much we need to focus on Addie, but it's harder on Addie to spend the whole weekend without us being able to focus on her. In the end, it was a little rough.

On Saturday I met a good friend of mine for lunch and Ellie wanted to come with us. I took Addie and apparently Ellie had a minor meltdown after I left. That evening I had plans to go to dinner with another friend of mine who was in town, and I decided to swap. Ellie went with me to dinner and Addie stayed home with Daddy.

Ellie was very good at dinner. She was a little shy and didn't really like my friend too much, but she ate all her food (almost NEVER happens) and was very well behaved. Once we were home again and I was walking Dan to the door, I had the following conversation with Ellie:

Mommy: I'm going to walk Dan to the door now. Do you want to give him a hug?
Ellie: No.
Mommy: Ok, I'll be right back.
Ellie: Hey, Mommy?
Mommy: Yes, Ellie?
Ellie: Mommy, dank you to bring me to dinner wif you.

Oh man, make my heart melt! She was so appreciative for me bringing her with me! And apparently my reaction to her thank you was a good one because she's told me thanks for bringing her to dinner half a dozen times since then. She really is a sweetie.

The talk

I've already mentioned how the Disney on Ice show resulted in mixed feelings. One of the more negative ones was the result of the scene in Lion King where Simba's dad dies. Ellie was quite concerned about the lion and kept asking "where the other lion go?" Not thinking that the Denver Coliseum was the appropriate venue to have that conversation, we told her that he went behind the curtain to rest. I don't think she bought it because she kept asking about the other lion. Later that day, she asked me "The other lion go behind curtain to rest?" just to confirm that my answer hadn't changed.

She's a smart cookie. At what age do kids learn about death? At what age do you talk to them about it? I know what someone who believes in Heaven would say, but I'm curious about what parents say when they don't (Salina, what do you plan to tell your kids?). I certainly don't want her to learn about that for the first time from school (the radio show recently talked about a lady's 3-year old daughter telling the kids at school that their mommies were going to die), but I simply don't know how or when to bring it up.

I know that the biggest reason for my hesitation is that she's only 2.5 years old. She's too innocent, isn't she? The darkest things she should have to worry about are why the thistles are chasing Tinker Bell and why they make a mess that she has to clean up. Or why Izzy at school won't share her toys with Ellie. Aren't those the type of dark thoughts that a 2 year old should have to deal with?

On the other hand, she does seem to have a lot of anxiety about losing Mommy or Daddy (blame Finding Nemo). I'm assuming that's normal, but maybe it's not? Maybe it's my way into the conversation?

Thoughts?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Going to see Santa

Walking down the mall to see Santa (who we ended up not standing in line for because Ellie was scared, but she did wave to him and he waved back), Ellie was yelling quite loudly:

Santa, where ARE you? Santa? Where ARE you? Santa, we goning find you! Santa? Where are you? We goning find you!

All baby wants for Christmas

Mommy: And what do you think Addie wants for Christmas?
Ellie: Umm... a button.
Mommy: A button?
Ellie: A BLUE button.

All I want for Christmas

Mommy: Ellie, we're going to go see Santa today!
Ellie: Oh?
Mommy: What are you going to tell him you want for Christmas?
Ellie: Uh... I want purple pincess and green pince.

Why does this girl always have to challenge me?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Decorating the Tree 2009

A couple weekends ago (Thanksgiving, sorry for the delay) Ellie helped us decorate the Christmas Tree. She loved wearing the garland, ornaments and tree skirt as her new princess costume.
As I'm sure every toddler does, she wanted to hang all the ornaments at her level so that she could see them. The result is that we have a tree with "sections." Here you see the section with all of her ornaments.
Here is the section with all the cute little glass ornaments. We thought about not putting up the glass ones, but Ellie insisted. Or was that Aunt Erin? There was something about how the ornament would have its feelings hurt if it couldn't go up on the tree.
And finally, here is the blue bulb section.

Ellie was quite proud of being able to decorate the tree by herself. She would take an ornament out, straighten the hook and try to hang it on the tree. When I tried to show her that the hook needed to bend around the branch, she said "No, let me show you, Mommy." She'd once again straighten the hook and put the ornament on the tree. "See, Mommy? Let me show you again." I'm not sure how she got so many ornaments to stick without bent hooks, but she did try to show me her secret technique.

Later, when we tried to spread out her clumps of ornaments, she got really upset and insisted that we would put them back. I guess Mommy should know better.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Oh yeah, and that too

Last weekend we went to see Disney on Ice with Ellie. It ended up being a roller coaster day in terms of emotions. On one hand, she loved the show and wanted to see more. On the other hand, she was exhausted and an absolute monster that evening.

As soon as the show was over, though, she wanted to rush home to tell Daddy all about the fissles (thistles) that were casing (chasing) Tinker Bell. They made a mess and weren't very nice until Tinker Bell said "No dank you, fissles! No dank you!"

That night, though, she had her first real nightmare. She cried and cried about how she doesn't like the octopus (I'm assuming from the Little Mermaid segment of the show).

(crying the whole time)
Ellie: I don't like the octopus.
Mommy: Oh, did you have a bad dream?
Ellie: Yeah, can you get rid of it?
Mommy: It was just a dream. The next one will be better.
Ellie: I don't like the octopus.
Mommy: Where's Bun Bun? She'll keep you safe.
Ellie: I don't like the octopus.
Daddy: How about the star night light? We'll turn it on and it will keep you safe.
Ellie: I don't like the octopus.
Mommy: Do you want to turn on your night time music?
Daddy: Yeah, that will help too!
Ellie: I don't like the octopus.
Mommy: Uh...
Daddy: Uh...
Ellie: Is just pretend right?
Mommy: Oh, right! Yes, it's just pretend! I was going to say that.
Ellie: Octopus is just pretend.
Daddy: You're so smart.

** I hate it when I can't think of the right thing to say. Ellie did it for me! And to think this also would have been a perfect opportunity to remind her of her special rock under her pillow (which I did the following night). Oh well, next time I will know to start off with reminding Ellie that her night mare is not real.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

First Camera Smiles

Anyone who has a young infant knows that these are hard to come by. There is something about the magic red light on a camera that makes a smile disappear instantly. Anyway, enjoy...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Ellie's Performance

What a difference a year makes! Below is a video of Ellie and her friend Brynnie during last year's Christmas performance. Brynnie is absolutely adorable bouncing around, while Ellie mostly just stands there staring at Gapa in the audience, however at the end she steps up and shows how well she knows her sign language. They were so sweet it makes me want to cry. video
And here are the girls in this year's performance. Please excuse the slightly obnoxious "Oh come on" that I said because the teacher kept getting in the way. I was, however, able to get Ellie on camera by holding the camera high in the air. I'm so proud of my little girl, though. She knew all the words! Pay close attention to the part of the song where they say "Rodolph with your nose so bright..." because Ellie's voice is the only one you can here. She's just so cute sitting on the step singing as loudly as she could (she was hoarse afterwards). Brynnie, as precious as always, is standing behind her in adorable pigtails. video
After the girls sang their songs, the older kids did their performance and Ellie kept asking when it would be her turn again. So, at the end of the show, we went back up to the stage to sing again. Can two girls be any cuter together? I doubt it.
video
Happy Holidays, everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Baby files complaint; no one takes action

video

Tid-Bits VI

I love how when Addie naps with me, she sleeps better if her hands are in mine. I love holding those tiny fingers!

I love how Ellie answers a yes/no question with the word "yes" and not "yeah." It's a small thing but you'd be surprised at how noticeable it is and how adorably proper she sounds.

I love how most of the time, Ellie answers with "yes please" and "no thank you" and usually says "welcome" after someone thanks her. Even if you ask her something like "can I have a sip of your juice, Ellie?" she'll respond "No thank you" or "yes please." She's so polite!

I love how Ellie knows so many words to so many songs. It continually impresses me.

I love how Ellie thinks that if you get an eye booger out of her eye, she can make a wish. She'll blow on it and wish for something. Eye booger wishes are just as good as eyelash wishes.

I love how Ellie likes to read books to me. It's impressive to see how many words she has memorized and interesting to see which ones are more meaningful to her (and thus she knows those words).

I love that Ellie often says "and smart too" after someone tells her she's cute or silly. We owe that one to Great Aunt Pat.

I love how I can hold Addie. Just hold her. Like a baby should be held.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I can't stop thinking about "It"

Ok, I should have written about this long ago but I thought it would pass.

I'm being haunted by something I heard on the radio a few weeks BEFORE Addie was born. 2.5 months, people! And I still can't stop having nightmares about "It."

One of the radio stations in town does a section every afternoon of "Other People's Problems" where someone writes or calls in a problem and other listeners call in their solutions. The problem on this particular day started out as a pregnant woman who thought she was having a boy but when the ultrasound revealed that the baby was a girl, she no longer felt attached to the baby. She no longer really even wanted to be pregnant and felt like it was someone else's baby. Most of the listeners called in saying things like "Oh, that happened to me, and the feeling goes away the moment you hold your baby for the first time."

But then there was a lady who called in to say that she went through a similar thing during her pregnancy. Her story went something like this:

I thought I was having a boy and was so excited. Then I found out it was a girl and I didn't want it anymore. When it was born, I was hoping the ultrasound was wrong, but It still wasn't a boy. I didn't want It, but I was obligated to take It. I fed It. I bathed It. I changed Its diapers, but I never loved It. I make sure It's warm and dressed but I have never been attached to It. It calls me Mommy, but It's Daddy gives It the love It needs.

She went on and on for a good 5 minutes telling her story and NEVER ONCE referred to her daughter as just that - her DAUGHTER. She ALWAYS used the word "It." It was bone-chilling. When the DJs asked her old her daughter was, she responded "I think it's almost 3 now."

How crazy is that? Ok, I can understand taking a long time to attach to your baby because they're so demanding and they give nothing back in return. But a child who is almost 3 has laughter and explores the world. They give you hugs and kisses. They tell you they love you. They get excited about seeing anything you show them for the first time. The love smiley face pancakes and walks around the block to see Christmas lights. They love to put blankets over their heads and pretend to be ghosts or princesses, whichever suits the mood. They run everywhere they go. They say funny things like "No pretend mac and cheese for you Mommy, you get beans and sausage!"

How can you NOT feel for a child with such a big personality, let alone one who is yours. Your very own child. Yours. She idols you. Yours. YOUR DAUGHTER!!!

Ok, people. There you have it. It was so bone-chilling to hear this lady talk about her daughter for so long and never once call her anything other than "It" that now I have nightmares about it. I want to find the little girl and give her a hug and adopt her and show her that she is loved.

Sigh.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Silent Niffer

Silent Niffer. Holy Niffer. All is calm. All is bright. Round yon virgin mother and child.

Wait. That's not me.

I'm back from a couple days of silence. It's actually been longer than you think, but we'll keep the actual number a secret.

We've had a couple bad days with Addie. She still wakes a couple times in the early mornings and sometimes it's hard to put her back to sleep, but what has really made the last two days difficult is that she's suddenly switched to taking only 15-20 minute naps during the day. That's just not going to cut it. Mommy needs to sleep longer than that.

The annoying thing about her waking up is that I KNOW it's because she has to fart or poop. Can someone please tell me how you teach a baby that it's really ok to fart during times when she's NOT in her Mommy's arms? It's like this little girl is convinced that I need to be holding her in order for her to have a successful bowel movement. Sure that sounds all sweet now, but you wouldn't think so at 3:00 in the morning. Unless you're reading this at 3:00 in the morning.

Anyway, if I can just get passed that then I think things would be fantastic. It's frustrating to always be wondering if Addie isn't sleeping long because she's too tired or not tired enough. Do I keep her up longer (she typically can only stay awake for an hour) or do I put her down earlier (the last few days she's ready for a nap only 15 minutes after waking).

So, sorry about the silent Niffer. We've also had a couple difficult and grumpy days with Ellie, so I can't even fall back on her cute stories as a back-up. However, I'm sure I'll return soon.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Big Sister Quote of the Day XIV

In one hand, holding out a Bun-Bun wrapped in a blanket, she says "See? It's a baby Bun Bun." Then holding out another Bun-Bun, she says "And see? It's a big sissa Bun Bun."

Ninja Baby

How do you spell "Waaaaa"???

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Friday, December 04, 2009

Bah Humbug!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Birthday Earth

I was told about a pretty cool product that I thought I'd share. Take a look:
This is what the Earth looked like when Addie was born.
And here is the Earth when Ellie was born.

I got the images from Birthday Earth. Email me if you want a coupon code for 50% off (expires end of 2009).

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Most bizarre thing I've ever owned

Michael's aunt gave us some handmade bears that she did herself. Aren't they cute? So why would I claim that these are the most bizarre things I've ever owned? I asked her to make them for me. No, that's not why. Wait for it... wait for it...

The bears are made out of Merlin's hair. Yes! I'm not kidding you! Do you remember his first haircut? You're probably thinking to yourself, "She didn't!?" to which I have to say "I did!" I think I'm going to have to blame the pregnancy for that idea because I can't fathom why I would have ever thought to make bears out of my dog's hair if it weren't for my hormones going crazy.

Believing in something

Someone recently asked me when we will start taking Ellie to church. Not being much of a church-goer, I said we didn't have such plans. She then responded with "How is she going to believe in anything then? She needs to believe in something."

I'm curious... many of my readers are religious and attend church regularly. Others are not. What do you guys think?

Do I have to send my children to church in order for them to believe in something? Is it even fair for me to pretend to be a church-goer when I really am not? What if I want them to be open to other religions? This person obviously was thinking of a Christian church, but would she be ok if I told her that we've decided to sign Ellie up for a Jewish school?

If I want my children to grow up and make their own decision on which religion they want to believe, what's the best way to do that?

In my ideal world, I envision picnics and hikes where my daughters and I sit and ponder how wonderful God must be to have made such a beautiful and complicated world. Is that not enough?

Is it not enough that Ellie and I sing "I see the moon and the moon sees me... God bless the moon and God bless me and God bless the one I want to see. God looked down from up above and he picked you out for me to love...?"

What do you think? If you're a more religious person than I, I'd like to know how you feel - if your goal was for your children to make their own decisions on religion, would you feel that church was required? If you're not a religious person, but have the same goal, what's your approach?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Flowers

OH MY GOSH! What a special moment! Ellie drew me a picture, but what was special about the picture is that it actually almost, sort of kind of looks like what she said she drew. She was even telling Nana how to draw flowers:

Firs you go dis (draws a big line down the page). Firs you go dis (draws another line down the page). Firs you go dis circles (draws the flower on top of the stem).

Not too bad. Mommy's so proud. And she drew them for me! I'm the luckiest mother around.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Addie cries it out

On a whim I decided to see what would happen if I let Addie fuss a little while putting her to sleep so this morning, before her first nap, I went through my little bedtime routine and I put her in the car seat (currently in the crib to help minimize the puking) and left.

What would Ellie have done? I know what she would have done because I tried it with her too. She screamed bloody murder until the I could not stand it any more. I seem to recall even sitting outside for a while so that I couldn't hear her. She never stopped but I don't recall how long I waited.

Addie cried a little. She actually cried off and on for 15 minutes. Every time she cried it was just to file her complaint. She knew she wasn't doing to die. Then she'd stop for a while. After 13 minutes of total fussing (I planned on going in after 15) she was sound asleep.

Not only that, she slept for an hour and a half instead of her normal 30-45 minutes!

The rest of the day she had no problem falling asleep without the pacifier (which has such a love/hate relationship with us).

Best yet - I just got done putting her down for sleep. I did my bedtime routine and put her in the car seat without her pacifier at all. What happened?

Nothing. She went straight to sleep! No fussing at all! I even waited in her room for 15 minutes for her to do her normal "wake up and cry" thing that she does.

NOTHING!

Seriously, if 15 minutes of crying is all it took for her to get excellent naps in and to fall asleep by herself the rest of the day then Yay!

Finally


I'm glad they're finally doing real artwork in school now.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thankful

I purposefully didn't write a post about how thankful I am because I know I'd break down in tears if I even attempted to put it into words. However, there is a song on the radio that has a line in the lyrics that I think puts it all into perspective.

"I guess we're all one phone call from our knees"

Think about it. How easily can your life be turned upside down in the matter of seconds? How quickly can you go from having a life that is not necessarily perfect every moment, but perfect for you, to having difficulties wondering how you can continue to go on.

Think about it.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a few people I need to hug.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I think she's trying to communicate

This morning I was trying desperately to get more milk into my baby than she felt was necessary. It's a mother's job. After finally giving up out of sheer frustration, I started to talk to her instead. Much to my surprise, she started talking back! She was making all sorts of adorable coos and ahhs, and even an occasional cah! "Oh, look at you talking away," and Addie's only response was a gigantic burp worthy of a sumo wrestler. I've never heard a sumo wrestler burp, but now I know what one would sound like.

Sigh. I guess she wasn't talking after all. She just needed to burp.

Then she starts up again. OH! OH! Talk away, baby! You are so cute. Following that comes a couple minutes of more adorable bahs and coos. "You really ARE talking, aren't you?" and Addie's only response is to puke all over the bed. This wasn't your average baby spit up (I would have used those cute words if it were). It wasn't even your average baby puke. Again, it was worthy of a sumo wrestler (of course, assuming said wrestler only ate milk and lots of it).

Sigh. I guess she wasn't talking after all. She just needed to puke.

Then she starts up again! Oh my! Maybe she really is talking! There isn't anything left in her to complain about! Dang, can you get any more adorable? After a couple minutes of sheer cuteness, I mistakenly say "I love it when you talk to me, Addie!" and Addie's only response was to explode her diaper and when I say "explode" that's exactly what I meant. Now I have seen those sumo wrestlers and what they wear. I'm sure this was worthy of one of their poopy accidents.

Sigh. I guess she wasn't talking after all. She just needed a poop.

Then she starts up again! No, say it isn't so. Do you see where this is going? Can you guess what the final slime is that comes out of this little thing in front of me? Let's just skip to the end, shall we? There was cooing and awwing followed by a fountain of piss. Yep, she peed on me. After all that, she peed on me. Thank goodness she wasn't a sumo wrestler!

Sigh. "Are you done now?" and Addie's only response is a stare. No blinking. No moving. She is still. All is calm. And there is peace in the world again. My apologies for insulting the tribe of sumo wrestlers.

I guess I shouldn't complain. Maybe she was just trying to warn me of the grossness to come? You'd think I'd learn.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Today's deep thought

I've figured out why babies insist on pooping while they breastfeed. They need to plug the top hole in order to build up the pressure needed to clear out the bottom hole!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

It's about the proper motivation

I haven't told you yet, but Ellie is almost potty trained! She's been in princess panties for two weeks now and is doing really well. It was daycare who told us she was ready, though we planned on waiting a while after the baby was born.

For a while we were motivating her to go poo-poo in the potty by telling her that she could have a lollipop if she did. Lollipops are her favorite, but even that seemed to lose its magic after a short period of time.

What has worked wonderfully since is Potty Hugs and Potty Dances. If she pees in the potty, Daddy gives her a Potty Hug. A potty hug is a great big hug full of bounces and turns. Only Daddy has the energy to do it. If she goes poo-poo in the potty, she gets a Potty Dance! A potty dance entails a lot of tosses into the air. Only Daddy has the strength and energy to do that.

But, for the most part, it's working quite well. Her teachers wrote us a note on Friday declaring her potty trained, though I don't quite buy it. I'm thinking that we'd be washing a lot fewer poopy underwear if that were so. However, we're close, especially for it just being a couple of weeks (and during such a time of change).

Monday, November 23, 2009

Big Sister Quote of the Day XIII

Mommy, I don't like it when my baby cries.

Ladybug Game

We recently started playing various games with Ellie. We've had the most success with Memory (the game where you turn over tiles and try to find the matches), but Gramma also says she likes to play War with cards. Just yesterday I introduced her to the Ladybug game. She loves it, though I'll admit our last game ended up playing "house" with the ladybug game pieces going shopping for bugs and water (maybe it's in the fine red print of the game instructions?).

Anyway... while playing an actual game (from start to finish - wow!):
Mommy: Is it my turn now?
Ellie: Yep!
Mommy: (taking a card) Oh no! I have to move back 4 spaces!
Ellie: One... two... three... four.
Mommy: (reading the space my ladybug landed on) Oh no! I have to give back two of my bugs!
Ellie: (concerned) Mommy, are you sad? I give you a hug!

Friday, November 20, 2009

UGH! JUST EAT!!!

It's amazing how frustrating it can be for a breastfeeding mother to try to feed a baby who seems hungry but won't eat. UGH!!! Don't you know it's bedtime and if you don't eat, you don't sleep! EAT! JUST EAT!

This frustrating moment brought to you by the letter J and the number 8.

Big Sister Quote of the Day XII

Ellie: Oh Oh! Baby is crying!
Mommy: Why do you think that is?
Ellie: Because he's too little to talk, too little to pay, too little to eat pizza, apples an ice-keem!

I highly highly recommend this book to anyone adding a child to their family. I'm assuming there is a version of it for big brothers, too, but it's a really cute book. We started reading this to Ellie over 6 months ago and she knows it by heart. I think it really helped her understand that babies really can't do anything themselves and are really needy. Best of all, it taught her that she is very important to the baby and can help take care of "our baby."

Thank you

Just when I wonder if I am a bad Mother for thinking that my baby's cry is just adorable (heck, any baby crying is adorable compared to the cry Ellie used to have), or for not really having a good reason for why Ellie can't bring in her stuffed cow to school... I go and get a compliment like this, from Melissa:

"Jennifer comes next. Friend I haven't met, and author of Niffer All Grown Up, Niff shares such sweet and witty tales of her daughters that she makes me want to be a nicer Mommy."

And since my friend, Salina, recently reminded me to just say "Thank You," I'll do just that.

Seriously, the compliment came at the perfect timing. It's not that I'm having a bad day, it's just something I really needed to hear. I like that I make other Mothers want to be a nicer Mommy. It implies that I'm one myself. Go me!

To all the Mommies who read my blog... go give your little ones a hug for me. And thanks, Melissa for the wonderful compliment.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ellie Pumps Too

It occurred to me that many of the stories of being a big sister and helping out with the baby are all experiences that Addie will most likely NOT have. These are stories that only Ellie can give me. That seems to make them all the more dear, don't you think?

The other day Gramma was with us and she helped feed Addie a bottle. Ellie got excited and said "Oh, I know! You feed your baby and I feed my baby, ok?" Then she turned to me and was concerned that there weren't enough babies for Mommy to have one to feed and so she reminded me that I could pump instead.

So I pumped.

Ellie got bored with feeding her baby and decided that she, too, needed to pump for when someone else wanted to feed her baby instead. So, she took her toy bottle and stuck it into her belly button and said "I'm pumping too, Mommy!" After I stopped laughing, she looked down and said "I see milk!" and then after a couple minutes, she decided that bottle was full and swapped it out with another one.

Ellie will be a good Mommy some day.

Big Sister Quote of the Day XI

Last week I mistakenly thought that I could bring Addie into daycare when I went to pick Ellie up, AND still get out quickly. Once the baby was in her room, though, she was way too excited to show her off.

Michael: Oh, Baby!
Ellie: Das my baby, Michael! You wanna see?
Michael: Yeah.
Ellie: Ky-ky, you wanna see my baby?
Kylie: Yeah!
Ellie: Zo-ee, see, my baby? She's got little tiny fingers.
Zoe: Baby! Wow!
Ellie: Is my baby sister. See?
Kylie: Oh!
Ellie: His name is Add-a-line. You wanna tickle her, Michael?
Michael: Yeah!
Ellie: Tickle tickle. You wanna hold her, Ky-ky?
Kylie: Yeah!
Teacher: Uh... Let's let Ellie and her Mommy leave.
Ellie: See? Is my baby. Is my baby sister!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Time is relative

Ellie: Can I close my eyes in da car?
Mommy: Sure, but we're almost there.
Ellie: Can I close my eyes?
Mommy: Sure. Do you want me to wake you up when we get to the park?
Ellie: Yeah!

(possibly one minute passes)

Mommy: We're here! We're at the park!
Ellie: Yay! Now I can wake up! Now I can go do lots of dings!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Comparison

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time now but I kept waiting for Addie to reach her "fussy" stage. However, babies are supposed to reach the peak of their fussiness at the age of 6 weeks, and Addie is almost there. Does that mean this is the fussiest she will get? Let's hope so!

Anyway, I know parents aren't supposed to compare their children, but here is a comparison for those of you who are asking...

- Addie was, from the beginning, by far more alert than Ellie was.
- Addie pees during a diaper change much more often than Ellie did.
- Addie is a much stronger sucker than Ellie was, she even hurts my finger!
- Addie is by far a much better breastfeeder, though Ellie put in the hard work.
- Addie seems to be gaining weight quicker than Ellie, though I never kept track.
- Addie has no problem with the bottle, but Ellie thought it was the devil.
- Addie does not mind the car seat, but Ellie thought she was placed in hell.
- Addie cries like a cute baby should, but Ellie could (and did) make your eardrums crackle.
- Addie cries far less often than Ellie ever did.
- Addie calms down quicker and easier than Ellie did.
- Addie allows you to hold her without needing to stand and rock like Ellie did.
- Addie spits up and pukes much much more than Ellie ever did.
- Addie wakes up when she poops or pukes, but I don't recall Ellie having that problem.
- Addie is a much louder sleeper than Ellie ever was.
- Addie shows the proper signs of getting tired, but Ellie never did.
- Addie is by far easier to put to sleep than Ellie ever was (a result of the above).
- Addie doesn't sleep well (duration) yet, but I don't recall how Ellie was sleeping at this point.

So, in conclusion, Addie is by far less fussy but by far more messy than Ellie ever was.

Big Sister Quote of the Day X

Addie spit up on Daddy the other day and Ellie scolded her by saying "No, Addie! No dank you!"

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's my picture, I'll cry if I want to

Sadly, the very first picture I have of Ellie and her best friend, Brynnie got stuck to some of Ellie's early stick goopy artwork. Yes, the baby girls (approximately 8 &10 months old) are holding hands - too cute.You would cry too, if it happened to you.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

What Daddy doesn't see...

Daddy: Please don't pick your nose.
Ellie: Why?
Daddy: Because it will make your nose bleed.
Ellie: Ok
Daddy: Thank you.
Ellie: Maybe afa you leave, I pick my nose?

Ellie finds Mommie's breast pump

Ellie: Mommy, you wanna hump?
Mommy: Wha? Huh?
Ellie: Do you need a hump?
Mommy: Not now. I'm not in the mood.
Ellie: Huh?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Really really big poop

This we got a phone call from Ellie, who spent the night at Gramma's house.

Daddy: Ugh. Who calls at 7:30 in the morning? Hello?
Gramma: Ellie wants to tell you something.
Daddy: Ok.
Ellie: I go poo-poo!!
Daddy: You did? Good job! I'm so proud of you!
(after a couple minutes of more talking, Ellie hands the phone back to Gramma)
Gramma: The first thing Ellie said when she woke up this morning was "I hafa call Mommy and Daddy tell em I go REALLY REALLY BIG poo-poo! It make em REALLY REALLY happy!

She'd be right if it wasn't 7:30 in the morning on the one day we were really hoping to sleep in until 4:00 in the afternoon! (as if)

Big Sister Quote of the Day IX

I wanna give Mommy a kiss. And give my baby a kiss too. I love my Mommy. I love my baby. Night night, Baby. Have a good sleep!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Big Sister Quote of the Day VIII

Ellie: Baby cry a lot.
Nana: Why?
Ellie: Because she really needs her mommy.

Sleep deprived Niffer gets a massage

During my 10 minute drive home, I made 3 wrong turns. That's 3 of 5 turns - which obviously extended my arrival time by quite a bit.

Once home, I found a hungry baby patiently (somewhat) waiting to be fed. I thought to myself, "Addie is hungry. I should prepare a bottle for her." So I went to the freezer, took out 4 oz of pumped milk, thawed it, put it in the bottle (which I struggled with figuring out how it worked) and handed it to Michael.

His response?

"Why didn't you just breast feed her?"

Doh! I wondered why it felt like I had never put together a bottle before.

A Daddy Moment

He had visions of walking her down the aisle, dressed up for another type of occasion...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Big Sister Quote of the Day VII

Can I show Nana my baby? It make her ree-a ree-a happy!

Wordless Wednesday XVIII

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tid-Bits V

I love the "Life is good, I'll pass out now" smiles that newborns get as they're falling asleep.

We will never have a stuffed elephant named Ellie. I'm told that's the default name for elephant friends, but ours will be named Eddie. In my daughter's world, there are Eddie-phants, not Ellie-phants.

I never thought I had a decent singing voice but when I became a mother I was forced to sing various nursery rhymes. Now, however, whenever I try to sing along to a song Ellie says "NO! Top dat! Only Daddy sing!" I think she only tolerates my singing during bedtime because it extends the time I stay with her.

I love how when Addie has a failed sneeze, instead of "ah-choo" she ends up making a "ah-coo" sound, similar to the coo of a dove.

I love how Ellie can turn anything random item into a princess costume. Usually it's a ballerina princess, in case you're wondering.
But sometimes it's Sleeping Booty.

I love how much Ellie loves her baby sister. Even if she occasionally has a hard time with how much time Mommy needs to spend with Addie, she has always adored her new baby.

I love how Ellie understands that a hot bath seems to have healing powers. In the book "Hop on Pop" the Dad is sad because he had a bad day. I said "that's too bad" to which Ellie sincerely suggested "Maybe he take warm baf and make him feel better."

Monday, November 09, 2009

Incredible Mom

As of last night, I've changed my mind on what super hero power I would choose. I now want to have the super stretchy power that Mrs. Incredible had. I'm willing to bet she was able to breastfeed her baby in the other room without ever leaving bed!

Happy 1 month, Addie!


Gotta Love Colorado!

On one fine Colorado day, we made a snowman in the morning...And disected it in the afternoon...

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Big Sister Quote of the Day VI

Look, Addie! I'm wearing pull-ups! I went pee pee in potty! Look!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Big Sister Quote of the Day V

It's OK, Addie. You big sissa here.

DIY Miracle Latch

When I was breastfeeding Ellie, I recall having a few "Miracle Latches." These were latches that I literally could not feel at all. It was incredible how different they were from the typical (not even necessarily painful) latches that I experienced. I had no idea what made a certain latch a Miracle Latch, because as far as I could tell, I was always doing the same thing.

Now I know the secret, and you too can have Miracle Latches every time you breastfeed, if you follow my 10-step program. Never again will you have to suffer from painful latches, or even withstand a slightly uncomfortable latch. With my 10-step program, you can welcome Miracle Latches into your daily routine and say goodbye to all others.

Here's what you do:

Step 1: Wait for Baby to be hungry.
Step 2: Take hungry Baby* and place her on changing table.
Step 3: Take a nasal spray bottle and position tip at one of Baby's nose nostrils.
Step 4: Squeeze the bottle while holding Baby's head still with your second hand.
Step 5: Quickly position spray bottle at the tip of Baby's second nose nostril.
Step 6: Repeat Step 4.
Step 7: For best results, repeat Steps 4-6 until Baby is candy apple red from screaming.
Step 8: Pick Baby up from changing table and sit in a comfortable chair.
Step 9: Insert boob into large opening located just below Baby's nose.
Step 10: Sit back, relax and enjoy your very own Miracle Latch.


* Disclaimer: If you want to have a legit excuse for those who ask later, it is best if the baby has a stuffed nose to begin with. Then no one will ask pesky questions like "Why? Why? Why?"

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Halloween 2009 Continued

Sorry it took so long to post, but our computer crashed (RIGHT after transferring the pictures onto it) and Michael did a fantastic job of getting it fixed quickly so that Niffer didn't freak out about missing pictures.

A couple days before Halloween, we got together with our little friend Brason to carve pumpkins. Ellie picked out two pumpkins herself and was very proud of picking very good ones. She wanted to make one a happy pumpkin and one a sad pumpkin . When I asked her why the sad pumpkin was sad, her response was "Because he lost his Mommy." When I asked her why the happy pumpkin was happy, she said "Because he already found his Mommy." I guess that's proof for what I said the other day about her biggest fear being losing me. It's a little heartbreaking and has actually caused me to dream about it, but let's not go there.
Halloween, itself, went about how I expected it to go. Ellie and her Brynnie (according to Ellie, "My Brynnie is my favorite friend") went trick-or-treating together. They were so excited that people would give them candy for just saying "Trick or Treat!" The two of them were so adorable going from house to house. I tried to get it on video, but with no real luck. Ellie would say "Let's go next house!" The two of them had fun.
Until the kid with the Scream Mask showed up. He didn't do anything specific to scare Ellie, but she was terrified of him. After that, she just wanted to go home. She hung in for a couple more houses because Brynn was still having fun, but suddenly the pumpkins were scary, and the lights were scary and the people coming to the door were scary. It just wasn't the same.

Eventually we went back home and the girls had a piece of candy before Brynn went home. Then we stayed up a little late to answer the door when other trick-or-treaters came by.

But... What's scarier than a guy dressed up in a Scream Maskwandering around your neighborhood in the dark? How about a guy dressed up in a Scream Mask who knows where you live AND knows your name??? When he came ringing the doorbell, and sweet Ellie opened the door... there he was and he said "Hi Ellie!" I'm not sure anyone could have crossed the room so quickly. The boy felt bad and took off his mask and we showed Ellie that it was just a boy in a costume. We then had to spend the rest of the evening trying to explain why a boy would do that. We'd say "sometimes boys like to dress up in scary costumes" and she'd plead "but why? Why scary costume?" Boys are just weird, I suppose.

So, there you have it... Ellie's first real Trick-or-Treating Halloween. At least we got great pictures.

And for your viewing pleasure, I'll post another entry with pictures of my girls.