Saturday, January 31, 2009

Leg hug

I've decided that there is nothing better than the unexpected leg hug followed by "I la loo." Mmmm Mmmm Good.

Friday, January 30, 2009


Ok, so I don't usually pay for someone to take photos of Ellie because we figure we have enough of our own. However, this photographer emailed the Mom's yahoo group saying that she was offering $25 photo sessions. Why? She believes that one of her photos can win the Cutest Baby Contest. More details on that later.

I figured that for $25 I couldn't lose, right?

The point for right now is that I need your opinion!
Go to Terrie Strick Photography
Click on "Proofing"
Password "Jen"

Tell me which photos you like (they're all numbered). Think cute. Think about which photo you think would win a contest for cute.

As to be expected, I'm biased and I think they're all adorable. PLEASE share your opinion! I need to know soon because the more time that a photo has to receive votes, obviously the better the chances are (thus I need to submit a photo soon).

Silly I know, but it's worth a try. And she is cute.

Mommy's weekend

I'm free! I'm free to do whatever I want this weekend. Ellie and Daddy (and Nana) are going to Green Bay to visit the great-grandparents. And so I'm free! Free at last!

It's a strange feeling to be left alone for 3 days. I've only spent that much time away from Ellie once and it was for our anniversary, so Michael was with me. But alone, I'm completely alone this weekend. It feels lonely. That's deep.

Here is a list of all the things I'd like to accomplish this weekend:
- Slumber party with the girls. Fun, huh?
- Clean house. No, I mean REALLY clean.
- Put up window treatments in every room of the house. 15 windows I think?
- Have dinner with an old friend.
- Have girls' night out with new friends.
- Spend lots of time with my mom alone (weird... that hasn't happened in YEARS).
- Sleep in.
- Catch up on Facebook messages.
- Create my own blog background.
- Laundry.
- Oh, right... walk the dog.

Already I can think of two or three things that won't happen. And already I miss my little Ellie Belly.

Pin Up Girls

I don't normally post anything that doesn't have to do with my daughter. Duh, you know that! But take a look at this!

Pin up Girls

I LOVE IT! I love how pretty everyone looks, yet it's a classy non-slutty look (I'm envisioning Glamour Shots with the word slutty). I just love the old fashion feel.

You may be wondering what I'm talking about. This is a photographer who lives in the basement of my sister's house. No, I'm kidding. She's just renting the house. She's incredible. I would love to have a photo shoot done someday. It would be fun.

Look what she has to do to reach the end product: Pin-up Process. That's pretty cool!

Mommy 101: Lesson 4

Mommy: What does Baby say?
Ellie: Waaaa!
Mommy: Ga ga goo goo!
Ellie: Boo boo ga ga!
Mommy: Is baby thirsty?
Ellie: Yeeeeeaah!
Mommy: What does baby like to drink?
Ellie: Mommy!

She's a smart cookie.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Keeping ahead of the game

I used to think that parenting successfully had to do with keeping ahead of the game. Stay one step ahead of your children, and you'll be ok.

Now I'm convinced that it's all about the ability to INVENT games. For example:

Mommy can't get Ellie to eat. She won't eat her apple sauce. She won't eat her raisins (among other things). Solution? Let's look at it as a game: Put one raisin into the apple sauce and challenge the girl to scoop it out with her spoon. Repeat until raisins and applesauce are gone.

I need more games! That's the solution. Can anyone think of cute little ways their parents got them to get things done?

Dear Well-Meaning Driver,

I realize that when you stop in the middle of the street, or parking lot, to let me and my family walk by, you are intending it as a favor to help us out. I know your intentions are good, but please stop. You see, I am trying to teach my child to stop and look both ways for cars. After which, I am telling her to wait until the cars pass and it is safe to cross. When you stop and wave to us indicating it's OK to go, this defeats the whole "wait for the car to pass" concept I am trying to instill. I do not want to teach my very impressionable daughter to expect that every car will stop for her, and I guarantee that she is too excited about crossing to understand the fact that you've given the "OK to go" wave.

I appreciate your intentions, but next time you think about stopping to let me and my family pass, please take that moment to help verify that I do indeed have them under control and thus they will most likely not run out in front of you. Then move along your way as normal.

Better yet, let's compromise. You may stop and offer to let us cross, as I acknowledge that it is the polite thing to do. However, when I wave back to you indicating that I'd rather you go first, let's not get into a waving fight. Then move along your way as normal.

Thank you for your help,

Hide and Seek technique needs improvement

Nana and Grandpa recently taught Ellie how to play hide-and-seek. Nana would stay with Ellie and count to 10 and then say "Ready or not, here I come!" Then they would head off together to find Grandpa. It was a huge hit.

I've tried to play the game with Ellie and have had mixed results. At this point in time, it's definitely more successful with two adults. However, since Daddy was busy cooking dinner, he could not help.

Scenario 1: Mommy hides, Ellie counts
- Ellie sits on the stairs and counts, "two, two, two, two, two..."
- Mommy hides behind the couch.
- Ellie says "COME!" and starts to look for Mommy.
- Mommy isn't in the first place Ellie looks.
- Ellie starts to cry "Mummy! Mummy!"
- Mommy tries to hide in an easier location next time.
- Repeat.

Scenario 2: Mommy counts, Ellie hides
- Mommy sits on the stairs and counts, "one, two, three, ..."
- Ellie runs into the kitchen and hides in the pantry (accompanied by giggles).
- Mommy says "Ready or not, here I come!"
- Ellie runs out of the pantry to meet Mommy.
- Repeat with same hiding place.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

100 Whines

That's what I thought about changing the name of my blog to. I've always wished that I could come up with a blog name that was a play-on-words for my name, or someone in the family. Some examples? Little Bits o' Cracker, One Dey at a Time, and most recently there is That's Some Pig.

I'm so jealous! I tried to come up with something that would work for the names I have in my life, and the best I could come up with was 100 Whines. Get it? I doubt it. Sigh.

Though I thought that it might make for a good blog name having to do with raising children, I ended up deciding that it was too negative for my liking. I don't want to focus on the whining, even if it's just in the title of my blog. People would come to my blog (all 5 of you) and think that I was looking at the whole parenting thing from a negative perspective.

Or I'm thinking too much about it. Regardless I doubt anyone would link the name to my name, which is what I would have hoped for. Sigh. I'll stick with Niffer All Grown Up.

Counting machine

Ellie has moved passed the "Two... Two... Two" hurdle she had while counting.

We were watching the "gicken eckg" video (thanks, KC, for sharing them... she loves this one and the sad Canadian "Bye bye Daddy" one - though she thinks the grown son is Daddy so all is good).

Did you watch the Chicken one? Did you notice how many eggs go across the screen at the end of it? Five. Ellie counted them and took me by surprise. I have NEVER heard her count anything other than "two two two", with an occasional "one two two". But there it was... a very distinct "one two tree vour vive".

The next day Ellie counted to 8+ walking up the stairs and just about gave Ama (Grandma) a heart attack. It would have been ten, but she got excited and replaced nine with two tens. That works for me.

Now she counts just about everything she sees. Most of the time it seems like she's right, but I think she figures that starting over with one is just as good as continuing with other numbers. As long as every item is accounted for once, right?

So once again I'm amazed at how quickly things change. It's like a light switch. Once it's on, it's on. Deep.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Baby Pictures

Ellie has made that all-mighty big mental developmental step of recognizing pictures of her younger days. She has pointed to pictures of herself for a while now, but only recently has she looked at earlier pictures and said something other than just "baby".

It seems that at the same time, she has also transitioned to recognizing pictures of Merlin as a puppy. Of course, the one she sees the most is my favorite "Layla Baby Mer Mer".

An artist in the works

Ellie: Ca ca!
Mommy: You want to color?
Ellie: Yeah! Mummy?
Mommy: You want Mommy to color with you? What should I draw? A puppy?
Ellie: Yeah!
Mommy: (after drawing a darn good puppy) Can you draw a puppy?
Ellie: (scribbles a couple straight lines back and forth) PUPPY!
Mommy: Good job! Can you draw Mommy?
Ellie: (scribbles more lines) Mummy!
Mommy: Can you draw Daddy?
Ellie: (more lines) Daddy!
Mommy: Wow! You're really good!
Ellie: (more scribbles)
Mommy: What's that?
Ellie: Mer Mer!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Under Construction

Blame my friend for the crazy bold new look. I'm trying to play with options and deciding which one I like the most. It's her fault, and she took the cutest one!

My name is Lyla

Ellie has started to say her own name and referring to herself by name. It's pretty cute. Sometimes she says "La a la", which is pretty dang close. Other times she says "Lyla", "Loy-all" or even "Lie-ah". The first time I heard this I thought "that would make a pretty name!" Michael almost agreed with me but then he decided that it sounded too much like "liar". I guess that's fine. It would be weird to name the next baby Lie-ah (obviously I'd have to figure out how to spell it, not to mention get pregnant first!) and have to tell her that she got her name from what her big sister used to call herself.

But it's cute to see that Ellie tries to say her name. That's my point so I'll stop rambling now.

Bounce Town II

I wrote about Ellie's reaction to Bounce Town the first time we went.

This week we went with Ama and Ellie was a completely different person! I've never laughed so hard.

Have you ever read the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy books? If not, you need to. In it, there are step-by-step instructions on learning how to fly. The key, apparently, is to throw yourself at the ground and miss.

Ellie got closer to flying than anyone else I have ever seen. I'd give her a 9.8 score for her technique on numerous face-plants (purposefully done with skill).

Saturday, January 24, 2009


Gotta love 'em!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Merlin Oh Oh II

When we were staying at Grandpa and Grandma's house for our 4th Christmas (yes, it was a while ago, bite me), there was a sheep-skin-type rug on the floor of our room. Every morning, Ellie would peer over the bed and get a sad look on her face and say "Mer Mer Oh Oh!"

Oh, poor girl!

Love this Colorado weather

You have to love Colorado. For those of you who do not know, the weather here changes quite often. You may think it does where you live, but you'd be wrong. In Colorado, it can snow one day but then be sunny and 50-60 degrees the next. Keep in mind that it's not humid here, so that's the kind of weather you don't even need a jacket for. I love it.

The unfortunate side effect, though, is that it lowers my score for the "Mother of the year" contest. I am too lazy to keep up with the weather. Why bother? The result, though, is that my daughter is always dressed for yesterday's weather. She wears shorts when it snows and then snow pants for the sun. Go figure.

I'll have to make up points somewhere else.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Calling Mr. Foot

Ever seen a desperate mom trying desperately to get her daughter to put clothes on without AND think that it's a good idea (thus without a fight)? Ever seen the movie Little Mermaid? Ever wonder what the two have in common?

Remember when the seagull tells Ariel that you use a person's foot like a phone to check to see if someone is breathing? Brilliant!

Mommy: (Holding Ellie's foot to her ear) Hello? Hello?
Ellie: (Give the "What are you doing, Mommy?" look)
Mommy: What's that, Mr. Foot? (pause) You want to wear some pants? (pause) Uh huh. (pause) You sure? (pause) Ok, will do. (pause) Yeah, have a nice day. (pause) I love you too.
Ellie: (gives the "you're insane" look)
Mommy: Mr Foot called and said he wants to wear pants today. Do you think that sounds like fun?
Ellie: YEAH! (she slides Mr. Foot into the pants as though it was the most fun thing she had done all day)


Mommy 101: Lesson 3

I should have known that there would be enough of these type of stories to just start numbering them. First there was Mommy 101: Lesson 1, and t hen there was Mommy 101: Lesson 2... and Now for Lesson 3:

Mommy: (in an attempt to get Ellie to eat more) Does baby want some kiwi?
Ellie: Baby kiwi? (as she looks directly into the doll's eyes)
Ellie: Yeah (After a couple long seconds, Ellie nods her head in satisfaction of her Baby's response).

I love how she waited giving her baby her undivided attention until she decided that the baby had responded.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Minimum age for string cheese

Ellie loves cheese. Usually when we give her string cheese, she bites through it like a stick of cheese. This last time, though, she pulled it apart. The result? String, of course. "Air" claims Ellie, as she picks the "hair" off her cheese and wipes it on her pants, only to discover more. It was an impossible battle. Ellie was defeated and she threw the hairy cheese down in frustration.

What a waste of perfectly good string cheese.

Peer pressure has its advantages

This girl does not like her hair done up. If she does agree to it, or even sometimes requests that I put her hair into a ponytail, it is quickly followed by a scene like this. This picture was the result of some quick moving on Mommy's part (I actually grabbed the camera when she requested the ponytail, not after putting it in)!

I think, however, we have reached a turning point. Ellie now lets me do her hair, and she is quite excited about it. In fact, she even shows it off to her Daddy and her friends and teachers at school. The secret? Peer pressure. Out of sheer desperation, Mommy asked "Would you like a ponytail just like B___? Boy did that set off a spark! She apparently loves having something just like her little friend with the perfect hair and the perfect clothes.

I once knew a little girl named Elizabeth who always had her hair perfectly done. In fact, it looked un-natural. She was only 3 years old yet she looked like she had been plastered with hairspray. That's the only way I can think of it to work. She always had her hair done in super elaborate braids. I wonder how her mom got away with it. I think she went way over board (maybe Aunt Erin can testify for what I'm saying), but it's impressive that she always looked so proper.

If I am lucky to get Ellie's hair into a ponytail, or even two, then it's always lop-sided and I'm sure people wonder why I parted her hair the way I did. Just know, I have no choice. I have to work fast! And if I can't get it done, then her hair will be in her face. Why don't I just cut it, you may ask? This girl seems to have a permanent comb forward. If I cut all her "bangs" then her hair will NEVER grow out. I wonder if you grow out of comb-forwards. I'm beginning to lose hope.

But at least there is the peer pressure of Br___ that I can fall back on!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy to you!

We recently celebrated Uncle David's birthday and the following day we found Ellie singing to herself:

"Appy to you! Appy to you! Appy to you!"

Eventually she wanted me to sing with her...

Mommy: Happy birthday to you.
Ellie: Appy to you!
Mommy: Happy birthday to you.
Ellie: Appy to you!
Mommy: Happy birthday Uncle David.
Ellie: Appy to you!
Mommy: Happy birthday to you.
Ellie: Appy to you!

Phone conversations

After picking up Ellie from daycare last week I asked her if she wanted to go jump on balloons. Boy did that get her excited.

Ellie: Jump! Jump! Boons!
Mommy: Ok, we need to go home and eat first.

When we got home, she ran up to Daddy and exclaimed:
Ellie: Jump! Jump! Boons! Boons!

We told her she had to eat lots of food to go jump on balloons, and she was so excited that she could barely contain herself. However, she did eat TONS of food (which says a lot since she typically doesn't eat for us).

Ellie: Boons! Jump Jump! Boons! (long thoughtful silence) Bue! Bue boons!

Apparently she decided she wanted to jump on blue balloons.

Ok, I'm sure you're wondering what the heck I'm talking about. We decided to go to Bounce Town, which is filled with a bunch of those inflatable air castles. How else would you describe that to a little girl who has never seen one? Big balloons seemed to be the best way to go.

Once there it wasn't certain if Ellie liked the big balloons. I don't think she liked the feeling of being out of control when she walked across them. In the end, she really enjoyed the slides and was willing to walk across a big balloon as long as we were either holding her hand or carrying her. Let me tell you that it's not easy to carry 25 pounds while going across one of those things.

Anyway, we didn't think that the evening was a huge hit like we were hoping it would be. Boy were we wrong.

On the way home, we called Uncle David to wish him a happy birthday and from the back seat, Ellie insisted "Ma tuurn! Davie! Ma tuurn!" so we handed her the phone.

Ellie: Ba ha ma ma ma ma wa mwa da goa me da moa BOONS!
David: (silence... I don't think he knew how to handle a conversation with her)
Ellie: Ba ma ha da ma ma wada go madsa mo RUN!
David: Uhh...
Ellie: Bma ma dhas ma ma wa wa wa wa da SOCKS!
David: Ummm...
Ellie: Ma ma wa wa wa sad sah ma wah wana JUMP!
David: Oh yeah?
Ellie: Bye!

The conversation lasted a good long few minutes and afterwards she wanted more. So we called Pappy, Nana, Grandpa, Aunt Erin and another Grandpa. Each conversation was very similar. She was so excited to tell people about the balloons she jumped on. We would have called more people, but this girl was exhausted from telling the story so many times.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blah, pwease

We're trying to get Ellie to stop having Bun Bun in her mouth all the time. The way I see it, she can suck on it when she's sleeping. They've been successful at doing this at daycare, so I know there is hope.

In an effort to do this, we've started saying things like "Blah! Yucky Bun Bun." She gets a kick out of it and says "Blah" while taking the gross bunny out of her mouth.

The other day, though, she was looking for Bun Bun. I asked her what she wanted and she said "Blah, pwease." She even had the full gagging sound that you hear when you say "Blah" properly.

Hmm... I wonder if our plan is backfiring.

Prisoner of the potty

Not too long ago, Ellie lead me to the bathroom and asked me to "Mummy, otty". After sitting on the potty, I asked if she wanted to sit on hers. This time, though, she said "No" and left the room, closing the door behind me.

When I tried to get up to follow her, she yelled at me. "Mummy, GO!" pointing to the toilet. I walked back and sat down. She closed the door "Bye Mummy!" I waited a couple minutes and came out. "Mummy! GO!" I went back in. I waited and came back out. "Mummy, Go!" This time, I grabbed my cell phone on my way in and turned on the light (yes, I was sitting in a DARK bathroom). "NO! Lighk!" Sigh. I turned off the light and sat down on the potty. She closed the door. I texted my sister in NY to warn her that I was prisoner to the potty and for her to call for help if she didn't hear from me soon.

Of course Aunt Erin took that the wrong way and assumed the reason was something completely unrelated.

15 minutes later Ellie came and released me.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Artificial Intelligence

Ellie got Elmo for Christmas and she's fascinated with him, as I've already mentioned. At first I thought it was just Elmo because he talks and is kind of scary. However, I think it's more of an age thing. Ellie is scared of anything that moves on its own accord. She stared down the remote control train with an evil glare that would have killed it if it were alive like she suspected.

I wonder at what age children become OK with inanimate objects pretending to be real.

Good times


Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mommy, COME!

Ellie learns a lot from the way we treat our pets. She knows to say "OK" to let the dog eat. She knows to say "GO!" to get him to go away. She knows to say "HUSH!" when the cats growl at the dog. She knows one more...

While shopping the other day, I heard "Mummy, COME!" from across the store. This continued until I arrived at a satisfactory distance away from Ellie.

It's nice to know I'm wanted.

Get it right, it's a TOOT!

Mommy farted the other day in front of Ellie. Daddy came into the room and Ellie said "Mummy Poo!"

No! I did not poop my pants! But thanks for telling Daddy anyway! In case you can't tell, I'm being sarcastic. Do you know what that is, Ellie?


It may seem as though I write about Ellie every day but this couldn't be further from the truth. What actually happens is I usually keep text drafts on my phone of things I want to write about. Then when I have time, I write all at once and schedule them to post a day apart from each other. Usually this system works out well. I only have to actually write once or twice a week.

But for a quick warning, I must tell you that I am back-logged. This girl is so dang cute that I have enough posts to last me EASILY through the end of the month! To catch up, I'm going to have to start posting more than one a day.

Sigh. The problems that come along with having an adorable girl... how are we going to make it through this?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My First Fort

We recently built our first fort! Let me clarify - we built our first truly successful fort. This thing gave us days worth of entertainment, as any worthy fort should do. Cracker's mom just recently took down a cardboard box fort that was in her living room for over a year! We have to work up to that kind of excellence.
I guess it didn't really surprise me that Ellie liked the fort so much. What did surprise me, though, was that she felt like she always needed Merlin with her. She would crawl in, get comfy with a book and then yell "Mer Mer, come!" Even more surprising - he would come! He would crawl inside with her and lay down close to her. How awesome is my dog? Anyway, needless to say, this resulted in too many cute pictures for me to narrow it down, so enjoy the slide show!

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Mommy: How was your nap?
Sleepy Ellie:
Mommy: Did you have fun visiting Grandpa and Grandma?
Sleepy Ellie:
Mommy: What do you want to do now?
Sleepy Ellie:
Mommy: Do you want to go ride a bus and a plane?
Wide awake Ellie: Wan wan wan a ba sa ba wan a ba eh bus plane!
Mommy: Woah! You want to ride a bus AND a plane?
Super excited Ellie: Wan wan wan a ba sa ba wan a ba eh bus plane! TWO!

I have no idea what most of the sentence is, but it amazes me that she says the same sounds every time she says the sentence. And it's quite clear what she wants. This is what our life has become in the last couple of days - full sentences, often even long paragraphs that seem to go on and on. I even begin to think "Oh my god, I don't understand a thing my child is saying". Finally at the end of the foreign sentence I can usually find one or two words to clarify what the sentence is all about. And it all seems perfectly clear.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why blog?

The combination of a conversation I had with an old friend in Maryland, as well as this post from Spleeness makes me want to explain myself a little better.

I used to read all about Cracker's adventures and I loved how his mom would keep track of all the little funny things he would say. I looked forward to when I could have my own stories about seeing the world through a little one's eyes. I started blogging the day I found out I was pregnant. Now Ellie is almost 21 months old and I'm enjoying it more and more every day.

It may have started out with wanting to keep a record of all those little stories that I knew would so easily be forgotten, but blogging has had a big effect on my life. I'm not sure if I can explain this but blogging makes me pay more attention to life. I thought it would just be that I would write about something if anything happened that was worthy of writing. Instead, it turns out that I find myself constantly LOOKING for things to happen. In doing so, I know I notice things I probably would have shrugged off otherwise, and some of these are my most treasured memories.

My daughter is the most incredible person in my life. Sure there are others (like my soul mate of a husband) but she is the only one who I see taking on the world with full force. She has to, doesn't she? Her spirit is so big and she lives in a world that expects her to be so small.

I feel like I wouldn't appreciate that as much as I do if it weren't for blogging.

The look

I doubt I will ever get a picture of it, but I certainly hope I will always remember the look that Ellie gets on her face when she says something important. She leans into me, puts her face right up next to mine, as if to say "It is of great importance that you understand what I am about to say, so I'm going to stare into your eyes and speak very very clearly, OK?"

This is some times followed by simple requests like "Mak" or "Bun Bun" or "Cooka". Other times it's followed by demands like "Go!" or "Wan to come".

It doesn't matter what follows. I just love how she seems to make it clear that Mommy needs to listen up and focus.

Monday, January 12, 2009

MD... Home sweet home?

We're back from Maryland and Virginia, and before I continue I just have to say that traveling with this little girl is a lot of fun. Exhausting yes, but she is so dang cute! I am hoping to post picture updates soon, but be sure to look for the one with her pulling her bag. She loves her bag.

All that aside, the trip was actually more difficult for me than I expected. I really miss Maryland. I knew I missed my job, but I was surprised by the fact that it went beyond that. We stopped by all the places that meant something to us. There's the condo we lived in when we started dating. There's the coffee shop we used to go to just about every weekend. There's the cute town that we knew so well. There's the most beautiful church either of us have ever accidentally came across. There's the first house we bought together and gutted to make it brand new. There's the hospital that Ellie was born in. Let's go back to the house and see the window to her nursery. This is the route we used to take for our evening walks. It just kept going.

Then there were the things I've never noticed before. Why didn't I notice that really cool stone church up on that hill? Check out that old building, it may look hundreds of years old, but I swear they JUST put that there. And there's now a Chick-Fil-A next to where we used to work.

It was hard on us. I was surprised. In many ways Maryland feels more like home to us than Colorado, which seems backwards to me. I guess it's because we have so many beginnings there, and we haven't been back long enough to really establish many beginnings here.

That's not to say that we think we made the wrong decision. I think we both feel like it was the right one to make. But it definitely isn't a black-and-white question, is it?

I guess we'll just have to hope that as time goes on, Colorado will have more and more beginnings associated with it. After all, this is where Ellie started to walk, right? And it will be where the next baby is born, right? And we own our first single family home, and though we haven't fixed it up yet... that's bound to happen eventually, right?

I don't know why the trip took me by surprise. I knew that Maryland would always mean a lot to us. I guess I was just reminded of all the things I liked better there (and there are many).

It's a good thing the snow here today is so pretty. =)

Friday, January 09, 2009

Communication flaw

Background: Mommy wants box pushed towards the wall. Now, go!
Mommy: Can you push the box?
Ellie: Yeah (starts to pull the box towards her, away from the wall)
Mommy: No, the other way. PUSH the box.
Ellie: Yeah (continues to pull the box, but looks at Mommy for approval)
Mommy: That's PULLING the box. Can you PUSH the box?
Ellie: Yeah (walks to the other side of box and pushes, again away from the wall, but looks at Mommy with confusion as though saying "tell me why this method is better?")

Well, you get partial credit for doing exactly what Mommy asked you to do. Mommy has failed in her explanation.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Night night baby

Mommy: Wah! Wah! Your baby is crying, what do you do?
Ellie: K, baby. K. (giving her a hug)
Mommy: Oh, that's nice, Ellie.
Ellie: Nigh-nigh baby.
Mommy: Is baby going to sleep?
Ellie: Yeah. (puts baby into her toy oven and closes the door)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

She's persuasive!

Daddy: You want Bun-bun? What do you say?
Ellie: Pwease! (while grabbing his balls)


Mommy: Kumbaya, my Lord. Kumbaya.
Ellie: Come ba ga! Come da ma!
Mommy: Kumbaya, my Lord. Kumbaya.
Ellie: Come ma ga! Come ba da!
Mommy: Oh, Lord. Kumbaya.
Ellie: Come ga come! Come come la!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Counseling for Daddy

Daddy is a little embarrassed to be naked around Ellie. He won't take a shower with her, which is fine with me. It makes him feel a little weird when Ellie stares at him.

In the same light, he usually pees while sitting down if Ellie is around. He sits on the potty and she sits on hers. However, the other day, she went looking for him and found him standing and peeing. Poor guy, he couldn't just stop mid-stream so he just had to go with the flow (excuse the pun). She walked up to the side of the toilet, and stared at him with amazement. She wondered how he could shoot water from his pants, and would lean over to get a better look. It was one of those times where you could just see her brain soaking in the information.

When he was done, she said "Mor pwease! Mor Daddy!"

One small step for Bun-Bun

One huge step for Ellie.

Today was the first day that Ellie put Bun Bun into her bin before Mommy left daycare. She knows she can't have her during the day (except for nap time), but it was the first time I've seen her willingly put the bunny where she knew it should be kept.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Word Explosion

Thanks for guessing how many words Ellie knows!

The short answer is that we're up to 182 words!

The long answer is this...

After reading the article and thinking "Hmm, a dozen words seems a little low to me" I guessed she knew about 50 words. Daddy guessed 40. He also said it might be interesting to just make a list. Within 5 minutes, our list was already to 120! You can imagine our surprise, and we wondered how many other words there are if this list was just "off the top of our heads". After paying attention to the words that Ellie said for two days, the list got up to 182.

Now, let me explain what the list includes:
- Words actually spoken by Ellie. It does not include words she understands but has never said (like couch, chair, can you bring me...)
- Words she initiates on her own. It does not include words she repeats when we ask her to.
- Both words for animals and the sounds they make. If she says Kitty and Meow, it counts as two words. If she does not say Cow but does say Moo, it counts as one.
- It does count names of family members (Mommy, Daddy, Merlin, Gapa, Nana, etc).
- It does not include names of teachers (I know she knows Beth, Jana and Ana at least).
- It does not include double meanings (like Rock for the stone you pick up and Rock for sitting in a rocking chair).
- It does include words that are mispronounced (like Ocobus instead of Octopus) but where it's obviously consistent each time she says it and close to the proper sound.
- Some sentences are counted as a single word (All done, I love you, My turn)

So there you go. 182 words. Isn't that just crazy? Now I'm not saying that Ellie kicks ass over the average 20 month old. Instead, I'm saying that this article must be wrong, right? Maybe. I just don't know.

For those of you with 20 month olds... please give me a data point for comparison!

And just since I realize this post isn't particularly exciting to most of you, I will give you a list of some of the more bizarre words she says out loud:

A small, but pleasant surprise

Ellie has been particularly clinging to Mommy in the last couple of days. Needless to say I expected a horrible scene while dropping her off at daycare for the first time in two weeks.

Nope. She saw her best buddy and called out her name, she called out for Miss Jana and she ran over to the slide, saying "Bye Mummy!" She hardly looked over her shoulder.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Words, shmords...

According to my email update from Baby Center:

"A typical 20-month-old has a spoken vocabulary of about 12-15 words, though many children have far more."

Now, granted Ellie is now 20.5 months and maybe two weeks really makes a difference, but this seemed a little low to us. Out of curiosity, we decided to compile a list of the words that she says. These aren't the same as what she understands. These are the words she actually *speaks*.

What do you think the total came to? Any guesses? Now keep in mind, that these are the words that we could think of off the top of our head.

Anyone, anyone?

I'll let you know on Monday.

Friday, January 02, 2009

A year in pictures

A comment that Spleeness left inspired me to write this post. It's amazing how much she has changed in just a year, isn't it?January












Mor Pwease!

"Mor Cha-ca-mak" has now turned into "Mor Cha-ca-juice"

Why? I think because we gave it to her in a juice cup instead of the milk cup. I didn't know there was a difference. Silly Mommy.