Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Camper - the hike

I wasn't sure what sort of camping trip this would turn out to be. Both Daddy and I decided that it just needed to be a "go with the flow" sort of thing. We figured that Nana and Grandpa would want to do more hiking so that Grandpa could take some fantastic photographs (which he did get a few), but we also feared that the rest of us wouldn't be up for so much hiking. Ellie is usually hit or miss when it comes to being in the backpack and we had no idea how far or quickly my tummy would allow me to hike. It was actually Ellie's idea to go for a walk. She insisted on it and we had a great time. She loved playing games with Daddy pretending to chase her while still wearing the backpack and she loved it when he would skip down the trail. Daddy got a work-out, carrying the additional 30 pounds around like that. Mommy got a work-out too, only I was carrying the 30 pounds around on my front.It was a good hike. We got good pictures and had lots of fun. Towards the end, Ellie ran with Nana and Merlin to get back to the campsite. Running is always a hit for little ones.This might be my latest favorite picture. If you're wondering why we're leaning so much, it's because this is the result of Ellie chasing me down and finally catching me. Given how tired we knew she must be, she really was in a great mood.

Warning: May expand at high altitudes

The camping trip was, for the most part, a huge success. I certainly enjoyed myself very much. I just thought I'd put that out there before I continue.

Unfortunately, it wasn't all picture-perfect. I became a big fat pregnant lady during the trip. Poof! Instantly! It was like the altitude made my body decide that it no longer needed to just LOOK pregnant, but it also needed to FEEL pregnant.

Pregnant women and tents do not go well together. Every time I laid down on the mattress, I wondered if I would ever be able to get up again. When I would attempt, it was like I had to rally every muscle and give a pep talk to every cell in my body. "OK, people (in this case cells and muscles)... here's the plan. On the count of three, we are all going to move in THAT direction. We can do it! Together we can move this body, but we must work as a team! Go Team Niffer! Ready? One... Two... Three!" The result was that my body would lurch forward an inch or two. "Oh, come on, team! Where is the passion? We are obviously going to require more grunting to get our goal accomplished."

I swear I took up half of the tent, and I had no idea that camping required so much squatting, bending over and ducking. All of which are not conducive to being pregnant. Every activity from sleeping in the tent to roasting marshmallows reminded me that my tummy was in the way.

On top of that, I recall being prone to leg cramps towards the end of my first pregnancy, and that seemed to hit me all at once this time while camping. I must have gotten 2-3 muscle cramps and could feel a few more threatening to take place. These are the kinds of cramps that leave you in so much pain you can't move but you need to move in order to get rid of the pain, and even when it all goes away, you're stuck with a nice big knot in your muscle.

Then there was the nice case of the runs I got. For those of you who don't want to read about gross pregnant-related stuff, feel free to skip the next paragraph. I debated whether or not to write about it, but I didn't hold back on my first pregnancy, so why hold back on this one, right? The nutshell of it is that a bad case of the runs is the last thing that a pregnant woman stuck in the back of a tent needs.

For more details... here's the longer nutshell version: I got the runs both Saturday and Sunday morning. I was miserable and had to go to the smelly outhouse multiple times in a short period. It wasn't until Monday (luckily, after returning home), though, that things got really bad. I couldn't stay off the toilet and finally resorted to taking some Imodium AD as soon as I found out it was safe for pregnancy, but RIGHT before I found out that it wasn't diarrhea I was experiencing. Instead, I was suffering from constipation. Oh my god! Undo! Undo! CTRL-Z! Following that, came puking on the toilet, a trip to the doctors, followed by progressively more blood in what was supposed to be my stool, then a trip to the ER to be told that even though it was tons more blood than I've ever seen coming from that direction, it wasn't much to be concerned about and to go home, take some stool softener and give it 3-4 days to work itself through my system. 3-4 DAYS! Are you kidding me? Can't I just get an epidural or an an enenema (sp?) instead? Whatever would get rid of the pain? As it turned out, after 48-72 hours of a gestational period, followed by 48 hours of laboring, I finally gave birth to a beautiful little one-inch turd. Despite Daddy finding me on the bathroom floor, half naked, in a sweaty sprawl, trying desperately to cool myself down, I declared VICTORY!!! Let's not go through that again. Strangely enough, it was after 21 hours of struggling that I resorted to going to the ER. It just so happens that it was 21 hours of struggling with my labor with Ellie before I resorted to getting the epidural. I wonder if that means I have a 21 hour pain-tolerance. Anyway, enough of that.

Moving on with the camping... Inspired by some of the pictures that Spleeness has taken of flowers (look here and here), I attempted to take some photos of the flowers we saw. I quickly learned that my ability to take fantastic pictures was severely limited by the size of my stomach. Or at least, that's the excuse I'm using.

Despite it all, though, I had a wonderful camping trip. It gave me an excuse to wear my cute over-alls (as you saw in the first picture) so how bad could it have been? I'm guessing I will not be spending any more time in a tent in the near future, though, but I am hoping to figure out a way to work around that so we can go again.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Camper - the tent

As with many new things we try, we were fearful about how the camping trip would turn out. Mainly, we questioned how well Ellie would sleep. Right off the bat, though, she took us by surprise. We expected her to want to play games with Nana while we set the tent up, but she was all about helping us out. She helped clear out the rocks from the area we were going to place the tent. She helped put the sticks together and was so proud that she made such a long stick. Then she helped hold the tent in place and hammered in some of the pegs that hold the tent down. Once up, she went inside and ran in circles. Then she helped set up the bed with the sleeping bags and pillows and pretended to go to sleep. It was adorable how much she enjoyed the setup process.Gasp! What's out there? Is it a monster? Is it a bear? Nope, it's just Nana and Grandpa.
Luckily for us, there weren't a lot of bugs around so we were able to keep the tent door open for Ellie to come and go as she wished. She knew to take her shoes off inside the tent and put them back on when she left. She probably went back and forth 20 times while we were enjoying the camp fire the first night. She loved being able to flop back onto the mattress and get lost in the sleeping bags.Say "Cheese!" As adorable as I think this picture is, it did make me realize that Ellie desperately needed a haircut. No worries... we cut her bangs as soon as we got home and into cozy clothes. She can now see again.Ellie loved being in the tent. She loved how it kept us dry and she could see the rain hitting the tent. She loved how she could still hear people outside but they couldn't see us. I think she just loved being outdoors.And she loved sleeping with us. She slept extremely well given that she would go to bed 2 hours after her normal bed time and still wake up at 6:30.I think most of all, she loved falling asleep next to Mommy and knowing that Daddy would join after he was done with the fire. She doesn't get very many opportunities to sleep with us, mainly because whenever we try she just wants to play, but I think she was so exhausted that she didn't even consider playing once we put our heads down on the pillows.And unlike her normal groggy mood when she first wakes up in the morning or after a nap, Ellie woke up in great spirits. This is a cute picture of Daddy tickling her. I think this girl was born to camp! I hope we can do it more often!

Friday, June 26, 2009

And... ACTION!

The older Ellie gets, the more and more difficult it is to get great shots of her smiling and having fun. Gone are the days where she sits still long enough for a picture. However, every now and then I get lucky and my camera catches a moment without the result being blury. I posted a couple of my favorites on her birthday, but here's another more recent one from Bounce Town.And I promised you yesterday that I would show you more pictures from the park. These definitely depict how much fun she was having far more than the ones I posted yesterday, but I wanted to wait to show you today because I thought they were fantastic action shots.

She may be a serious girl who takes it all in before drawing conclusions, but this girl still knows how to have fun, squeal and giggle. Life is good.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Where did Brynnie go?

This week has been hard on Ellie. Unlike last week, she has cried every time we dropped her off at school. It's been really hard on us, but at least we now have a theory on what's wrong:

Mommy: We're here. Ready for school?
Ellie: Where did Brynnie go?
Mommy: Brynnie is staying home for a while because she now has a baby sister.
Ellie: Brynnie stay home as baby sisser.
Mommy: Yep, but she'll be back soon.
Ellie: Back noooow?
Mommy: No, not now. In a couple weeks.
Ellie: I ave baby sisser too?
Mommy: You want a baby sister too?
Ellie: Yeah.
Mommy: Soon, I promise.
Ellie: Kay.

So our theory is that she has been having a problem with school because Brynn is not there right now. She'll be back soon, but "soon" for us probably feels like a lifetime to Ellie.

Hugs to Brynn and her beautiful baby sister! Come back soon!

A wonderful day at the park

I'm going to be leaving for vacation next week so my plan is to bombard you with pictures and stories while I'm gone... enjoy!
A couple weekends ago (I know the pictures are old, huh?) we went to the park. We do so relatively often, but we rarely get good pictures. Either Ellie has a bad park day or Mommy forgets to bring the actual camera and needs to use her pretend one that only takes mental images that can not be transferred to my blog.
Can this little girl look like she's having any more fun? The answer is yes, but you'll have to wait until tomorrow to see those pictures. Look at the sunglasses, though! She's one styling girl!I probably should have gotten this one on video but I was too busy with the photos. Ellie is yelling "Hello!" very loudly and waiting to see if anyone would answer. She would go to different parts of the playground to see if she got better results. It was fun and she got a kick out of it when Daddy or even a stranger would yell "Hello" back.Ellie keeps getting more and more brave on the playground. She will now insist on me being nowhere close to her when she climbs the ladders and various monkey bars. However, once at the top, she almost always asks for help to get her to hang upside down. She wasn't pleased with having to wait for me to take a picture first.

Even though these are great pictures... they're not my favorites. Those will come tomorrow. However, it was a very pleasant day at the park and I love to watch Ellie grow more and more confident every time she tries something. I always have a lot of fun with her.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Traveling with child

It bothers me that one does not need a form of ID for the children they're traveling with. Though it makes my life easier right now (Ellie doesn't have a form of ID other than her birth certificate), I still think it's crazy that anyone can travel with a child but not need to prove who that child really is. Does this strike anyone else as scary or is it just me?

Father's Day conclusion

Next week, I will be bombarding you with pictures from our camping trip because we will be going on vacation to the beach!

In the meantime, though, I wanted to share with you what Michael said about his Father's Day...

The camping was fun (more details to come next week).

The presents were cute (I gave him a cheerleader outfit for Ellie and a football outfit for the baby so that they can watch the football games together. We also bought him a couple tickets to a game. I wanted to do an interview with Ellie, but that didn't turn out so well).

The card was adorable (I made a card with Ellie's hand print and signature).

But what really made his Father's Day was when he was able to calm Ellie down after she had a bad dream after returning to her own bed, and on his way out of her room she said "I love you, Daddy."

Doesn't that make your heart sing?

Wordless Wednesday VII

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kick Zone

I'm feeling the baby move more and more these days. For the most part this is simply fantastic and so rewarding. It just seems so magical to me that the whole process is even possible and every time I feel the baby move, a smile comes to my face.

Even when it hurts.

Regardless of the location of the kick, it's a feeling that is nearly impossible to describe. I've read descriptions about it online before, where people claim it feels like bubbles in your tummy. I suppose in a way, that could be true. One big, quick bubble popping inside you. But if you've never experienced that, how would that description help you envision what it's like? The answer is it doesn't.

Anyhow... moving on...

I've decided that there really should be a designated kick zone for the baby.

"Kicking Out" zone:
These are the pleasant kicks. Let's have more of them. Any time the baby's movement resides in my tummy area, it's a good thing. This zone gives the baby the highest number of points and the baby should be rewarded (how do you do that?) for kicking in this area. Kicking Out Zone = 10 points.

"Kicking Up" zone:
I'm sure this will become more of an issue when the baby gets bigger, but essentially this is when the baby somehow (details are still unknown to modern science) gets UNDER the ribs. Kicking the ribs is never a good idea, even from the outside. It is no different when kicking them from the inside. Kicking Up Zone = -5 points.

"Kicking Back" zone:
To the best of my knowledge, this is when the baby kicks the bladder. Not good. Bad things happen when baby kicks the bladder. Gross, unexpected things. Or so I recall. I don't think this baby is big enough for that one yet either. Kicking Back Zoon = -5 points.

"Kicking Down" zone:
This is definitely one I'm dealing with now. I'm not really sure what is going on, but my best guess is that the baby is kicking downward, on to my cervix. This happened ALL the time yesterday. My poor coworkers weren't sure how to respond to me grimacing for a moment before continuing to pay attention to what they said. It's an unpleasant and very undescribable feeling. Kicking Down zone = -5 points.

So, Baby... there you have it. The rules on how you can score points with Mommy. Good luck and go win this game!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Birthday

It's no one's birthday but I thought you would enjoy watching this video. Ellie seems to think that the Happy Birthday song is just another Name song, only she knows the words. The other day we sang Happy Birthday to her nose and to her socks. Too bad I don't have that on video! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

She's a trooper II

Woo hoo! Today went better than any day yet! Ellie didn't tell me that she didn't want to go to the new school when we were approaching the building. Score! She asked me, "Mommy, I wanna read jus one book now?" to which I said I'd be happy to read her a book before I left. Then she thought about it some more and decided she'd rather see Brynnie. Miss Amanda told her she could have breakfast with Brynnie so we went over there to eat our banana. She was happy to see her friend, and Brynnie giggled when Ellie came into the room. Life was good. Ellie even asked me to play "Head knees toes" like I've been known to do in the past. I sang the Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes song while pointing Ellie's head, shoulder, etc. Then it was Brynnie's turn. Brynnie giggled as she often does. Then it was Ellie's turn. Ellie faked giggled as she often does because she figures it's the right thing to do. Life was good. I gave Ellie a hug and left with a smile on everyone's face. Good stuff.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

She's a trooper

I was so excited to write today about how it was the third day at Ellie's new school and still no crying, but alas I can not say that. Sigh.

Over all, though, it's gone so much better than expected. The first day she made it very apparent that she didn't want me to leave. I read her a book and then told her that Miss Amanda would read her the next one. She whined "Mommy stay. Mommy sit down. Mommy sit down pease!" as I left, but she didn't actually cry. She told me she wanted to go outside and play and I said she would do that later and I'd pick her up after work. She said "kay."

I cried. She didn't. I know the tears are hard to bear, but so are the words. She made it so apparent that she really wanted me to stay, and even asked nicely! Which is worse? I'm not sure. But at least there were words AND tears.

Yesterday was similar. I read her a book and Miss Amanda would read the second book. Ellie asked me to stay again, but no tears. Her request for me to stay didn't seem quite as saddening.

This morning she cried. Maybe it was because I didn't read her a book? I left her eating breakfast with Brynn instead. Or maybe it's just all starting to sink in now - that she has a new school. As we pulled up to the school she said "No want to go new school" though she also said this yesterday.

If you gauge our success of the new school based on our morning experiences, I'm not sure what conclusion you'd come to. But like I said, it's going better than I feared.

On the other hand, if you gauge the success based off of our evening experiences, I think you'd agree with me that it's impressive. In two days at school, she's gone pee-pee in the potty three times and poo-poo once. Her naps are normal and she's eating normally. The teachers claimed it's as though she's been there the whole time.

What's most impressive to me, though, is that she doesn't drop everything she's doing to run to me when she sees me. She would do this at the old daycare, and trust me, I loved it. There is nothing better than seeing your daughter running across the room for a hug, as though you're the best part of her entire day. However, it's interesting to see her now look up at me and go back to playing, as though to say "Oh, hi there Mommy" like it's no big deal. Doesn't that say she's enjoying herself? Even when I ask her if she wants to go home, she says no. We diddle-daddle around for a while before leaving. I think this is more telling than anything else. Don't you?

It's too bad she had to cry this morning (even if it was just for a minute). She's been doing so well with such a big change that I've put it on my list of "we don't give these little ones enough credit, do we?" Let's hope the crying doesn't become a routine again.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tummy Tuesday

In honor of Baby Tuesday, I bring you my first tummy picture. Enjoy.

I think we may be in luck with Ellie's response to the baby. She seems to be getting more and more excited about being a big sister. In fact, the other day when we were walking to the park, she randomly and very proudly announced "I gonna be big sissa soon!" It must be a topic that is on her mind relatively often and it's nice to see that she's excited about it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Russian Niffer

Check it out! It's my blog translated into Russian!

It just looks like a pen!s on the internet

In honor of Cracker's flip book, I bring you my very own phallic art. I know what you're thinking this looks like. You'd be wrong, of course.

Let me tell you how the above object came to be:

Mommy: Now what do you want to make?
Ellie: Ummm... Nake!
Mommy: Ok, I'll make a snake.
Ellie: Anoda nake!
Mommy: Instead of Mommy making another snake, I'll show you how to make one yourself.
Ellie: Ok.
Mommy: Take this piece of play-dough and roll it.
Ellie: Ok.
Mommy: Keep rolling.
Ellie: I did it! I did it!
Mommy: Oh, yeah? What did you make?
Ellie: A turtle!

So, I guess we're both wrong. You, for thinking it was something dirty and inappropriate and me for thinking we were making a snake.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Last day at school II

I totally meant to write about how Ellie was so proud to give her teachers the cards. That, in itself, was the most difficult thing for me about her last day at school. Seeing her seek out the teachers and handing them the card and giving them a hug was the bitter side of the "bitter sweet". She didn't know it was her last day, but I did.

On a side note, though, it gave me the idea of making cards for her teachers more often. I liked seeing how proud and happy she was to give her teachers a special present.

Last day at school

Ellie's last day at her daycare was on Friday and it was very bitter-sweet. I've gotten myself into such a funk over how much more expensive her current daycare is than her new one that I've been quite a bitter costumer. I created quite the drama too, since I found out that the director at the old daycare called the new director to b!+c# her out and insist that she needed to raise her prices. Without saying specific numbers, we're talking 50% more expensive! That's a big FIVE-ZERO!

However, it was sad to leave. We do like the current teachers. Mommy made them cards to thank them. I'm posting pictures here because I don't think I've ever mentioned that I've started making my own cards (It's a way to keep me from going overboard on the scrapbooks and it's quite fun).

Ellie even signed each card, but she's still working on perfecting her autograph. From the looks of it, though, I think there might be some med-school in this girl's future.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Drawing hands

I've mentioned before that every now and then we get a look at the words we speak when we discover Ellie acting just like us.

At dinner, Ellie was coloring on her menu. She had requested that Daddy put his hand down for her to trace. After making a mark for each finger (not exactly going around the entire finger), she told him to lift his hand so that she could see. The result was five seemingly-randomly placed lines that resembled almost but not quite the exact opposite of a hand. "Good job, Daddy!" says Ellie, "Good job!"

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Princess do not interrupt

Ellie has a book of manners where all the Disney princesses show her how to be polite. Ariel never interrupts unless it's an emergency.

At breakfast, Mommy and Daddy were having a conversation.

Ellie: Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommmy!
Mommy: Ellie, Mommy and Daddy are talking now.
Ellie: Yeah.
Mommy: Remember what a princess does? She waits until Daddy is done talking.
Ellie: Yeah.
Mommy: (continues her conversation with Daddy).
Ellie: Top talking Daddy!
Daddy: (stares at her unsure what to say).
Mommy: (stares at her trying not to laugh).
Ellie: Top talking Daddy, pease! (mistaking our stares for the "what do you say first" look).

Proceed to laugh. At least she gets half of the concept.

Junk in the way

According to Daddy, Ellie is just at the perfectly unfortunate height for his junk. Not having the same type of junk myself, I will just have to take his word for it. He continued his story by saying that it makes for some awkward moments when she goes to hug him. The other day, he was only wearing PJs when she ran up for a hug. After embracing him, she took a step back and gave his crotch an inquisitive look. Then, she reached up, moved the junk to the side and gave him another hug.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Baby Tuesday

Salina kindly (and in a very excited manner) reminded me that people want to hear about the new baby too, and not just about Ellie. I will try to follow up with her idea of writing about the baby at least once a week. Why not Tuesdays? We'll call it Baby Tuesdays.

Since there is a part of me that feels like there is a lot of catching up to do, I'll start with answering Salina's questions:

How is this time different or the same?
So far the two pregnancies are very similar in many ways. I didn't have much morning sickness, though it was a little worse this time around. I never actually threw up with Ellie, but I did a few times with this baby. I even threw-up after smelling the diet soda that a coworker was drinking during lunch. I felt like this time my heightened sense of smell affected me much more.

So far there are two major ways in which the pregnancies have differed. With Ellie, the second trimester was marked by a major boost of energy. I felt great! I felt sexy! I felt like I could conquer the world. I keep waiting for that to happen this time around and it just hasn't. I am constantly tired, and I feel fat instead of sexy. I'm sure part of this is that I'm showing so much more this time around (I swear I do keep meaning to post pictures), but there is more to it than that. I just can't put my finger on it. I'm guessing that I'm so tired this time around because I have to deal with Ellie. I can't just go to bed as soon as I get home if I want, and I certainly can't sleep in in the mornings if I want.

This ties into the other major difference between the two pregnancies. Last time, if someone were to ask me "how far along are you?" I could answer to the day, without hesitation, "I'm 22 weeks and 4 days pregnant!" However, this time I really have to remind myself of what email I got from Baby Center. I feel guilty that I don't ever remember how far along I am. However, ask me what Ellie's age is and I can tell you right off the bat!

Last time, though I enjoyed being pregnant, I was so excited and anxious for the baby to be born. I was also excited to show off my pregnancy, being willing to talk about it to anyone who was in hearing distance. This time, I find myself both more patient and private. It was my decision whether or not we found out the gender this time, and much to my surprise I chose not to. Since then, though, I've been at peace with my decision. It's almost like deep down I feel like I only have 9 more months in which I can cherish the *NOT* knowing. And even then, I am wrong. It's only 4.5 months, isn't it? Wow. There I go again, needing to remind myself that this baby is coming. LOL. Anyway, I'm completely fine with the idea of waiting because I know that this will most likely be the last time I am pregnant and so there is no rush to get it over with.

As for being more private, I definitely talk less about this baby. I don't think I'm doing it on purpose, but I feel like I want to keep the baby all to myself. Again, I think it's my way of cherishing the time. It feels more personal this time around.

I was so blessed with my pregnancy with Ellie. It was a fantastic pregnancy and I loved feeling her inside my tummy. In fact, I struggled quite a bit with "missing her" after she was born. I loved the calming effect that feeling her move had on me and my stressful life. I have only recently just started to feel this baby move a lot and I'm excited for that sensation to help me bond with the baby. I feel like so far, the movements have been stronger and more distinct, so it will be interesting to see if that continues.

Is it as amazing as the first time?
I guess in many ways, I've already answered this question. I think that with the baby moving more, the answer to this will definitely move more towards the "YES! YES! YES!" but up until recently, it's been both more and less amazing at the same time. Less amazing because I have to remind myself that I'm pregnant. More amazing because I feel like I'm keeping pregnancy all to myself. I feel like I am starting to appreciate the pregnancy knowing that it will most likely be my last. And there is no doubt that feeling a baby move inside you is by far the most amazing sensation that I have ever experienced.

Do have cravings?
Just the craving to get a tattoo. There was another one recently - not food related - but I can't remember what it was.

Have you felt the baby move yet?
I have! I have! In fact, when I was making a bunch of donations last week, the baby must have sensed my excitement because she was kicking up a storm. It was neat to feel the baby get excited right along with me. That, combined with a seemingly endless supply of "Appy birt-day Mommy!" from Ellie, my day was incredible.

Some surprises this time around:
- I did not expect to have to buy maternity clothes again. Most of mine from the first time do not fit. Crazy. And just wrong.
- My memories from my pregnancy with Ellie keep slipping into my short-term memories this time. Example - the other day we were changing the sheets on the bed and I told Michael that we didn't have any sheets that fit the new bed. He was confused and I said "Remember, our new bed is deeper than our old bed, so these sheets won't fit anymore." He kindly reminded me that we have had the same bed for 2 years now and that the sheets have indeed been bought since then. Until I gave it some serious thought, I could have sworn we purchased the new bed just recently.
- I see pregnant women ALL the time! I don't recall seeing very many of them last time I was pregnant, but it seems like they're everywhere this time around!

Ok, this post has turned quite long. I'll try to write once a week about the baby, but since I got this one out of the way, they probably won't be nearly as long.

Monday, June 08, 2009

New song - It's going to be a hit!

As far as I could tell, she was singing to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus:"

All day long!

Friday, June 05, 2009

A bizarre version of ABCs - I could be rich!

This post is actually quite old but it got lost and wasn't ever published...

One of the first children's books I ever got was But not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton (Cracker's mom gives out the best books!). Because I loved it so much, I went out and bought more.

I got her A to Z book because I figured it would be great when Ellie started with her letters.

Taken from my copy of the book:
Aardvark admiring
Beavers ballooning
Cats cleaning

Dinosaur dancing
Elephant eating
Frogs frowning
Gophers grinning
Hippos hiding
Iguanas itching
Jackal jumping
Kangaroo kissing
Lion leaving
Moose mowing
Nightingales nesting
Owl opening
Blue coat
Turkey tripping
Uglybirds being ugly
Vicuna violining
Weasel whistling
Xylo xylophoning
Yaks yawning
Zebra zigzagging

For the longest time I thought that this author sick sense of humor. Who does that? Who removes letters from the alphabet and replace them with "oops"? This does nothing for young impressionable children trying to learn their ABCs!

Then for Christmas, I got Blue Hat, Green Hat and suddenly it all made sense to me.

It was a misprint! Isn't that weird? You know how coins have have been mis-stamped are worth a lot of money? Is it the same with books? I could be rich! How do I find out?

PS. My apologies to the author for thinking badly of her version of the ABCs.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

National Niffer Saves the World Day

Today I get to save the world! I love this time of the year! Every year, Michael and I save a chunk of money to donate to whatever cause makes our heart sing. This is the 4th year that I have donated all my money on my birthday.

This year I'm also trying something new. I'm not sure how it will go, but I started a Facebook Group called "Niffer's Saves The World", where I have told my friends that I will match their donations to a charity. I'm excited about it because I want to know what sort of things my friends are passionate about. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out, but if you're interested in participating, please let me know.

I will keep the list below updated as the day progresses...

Today I have saved:
- Brain cancer patients (National Brain Tumor Society)
- Coloradans affected by the economic slump (Energy Outreach Colorado)
- Marylanders affected by the economic slump (Fuel Fund of Maryland)
- Children from around the world suffering from life-threatening diseases: they get to go to Disney World! (Give Kids the World)
- Terminally ill Coloradans and their families who need to eat (Project Angel Heart)

And through matching funds that my friends have given, I have saved:
- Children disfigured by cleft palate (The Smile Train)
- The poor in developing countries who need access to a medical hospital (Mercy Ships)
- Abused Denver children (Denver Children's Advocacy Center)
- Children suffering from Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS)(National MPS Society)
- Terminally ill children needing hair-pieces (Locks of Love)
- Domestic violence victims living in Estes Valley (Estes Valley Victim Advocates)

Have a wonderful Niffer Day, everyone!

UPDATE: My rewards for today? Other than being a super hero for a day, I got to feel the baby move a lot AND AND! AND!!! I found out we're going to Paris! P-A-R-I-S! Oh how I love you!

The sacrifices parents make...

Today is my birthday and I think I'm going to have to go to one of those restaurants where the entire wait staff comes out to sing a birthday song to you. These are the sorts of things we endure as parents of young children who are easily thrilled. She'll love it and that will make a good present for me.

I'll try to take that as a compliment

Here's what I imagine goes through Ellie's mind at times:

Hmm, I'm done playing with my care-bear toy, but where would be a good place to put it! Oh! I got it! Right there! Look, it fits perfectly!

My hands are cold. How can I solve that problem? Oh, I know! I'll put them right there! Look, it's nice and warm and there's enough room for both hands!

I don't see a trash can near by, but I need to put my crumpled up napkin somewhere. Oh where, oh where can it go? This looks like a good spot!

Where did my toy go? I can't find it anywhere. Oh, I know where to look! Toy, are you in there? Nope, I guess not.

I'm all done with my Cherrios. I don't want any more. Maybe I'll put them right in there to eat later when I'm hungry again.

I'm bored. What game can I play now? Mommy is talking to someone else right now, so instead of distracting her, I'll see how far my hands can reach right there.

Hey, Mommy! Excuse me, but I'm trying to get into there and you're in my way. Please move!

Any guesses as to what "there" is? Yep, you guess correct. My shirt. My amazing pregnancy cleavage has an unexpected side... bonus, if you will... of being fantastic entertainment for my little 2 year old daughter. Go figure.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Favorite charities?

I'm going to save the world tomorrow. What are some of your favorite charities? I need good ideas!

I stand corrected

Neighbor Boy: Can Ellie say words now?
Mommy: (surprised) Yes, she can say lots of words.
Boy: Like Hi and Bye? Or Yes and No?
Mommy: (trying not to be annoyed) She can say just about anything she wants to.
Boy: I bet she can't say "non-conformist-libertarianism"

Playing Hookie

I read this article about a girl who is about to graduate from high school, having never missed a day of school in 13 years. I actually found that achievement to be kind of sad.

Some of my most valued memories are of the days that my mom randomly told me "let's play hookie" and we'd hang out for the day. I loved those moments because it was an entire day with just my mom and me.

Some other fond memories focus around family vacation trips we would take. Driving up to Montana to see Glacier National Park with my dad was always a favorite of mine, and though I'm sure we tried to plan those trips to coincide with days off from school, I also know it didn't always turn out that way.

And what about when I was much older - my visits to see college campuses sparked more excitement in me for my future education than any words of encouragement from adults.

There are just so many experiences that this girl missed out on. I'm hoping that when Ellie and her sibling get to be school-aged, I'm not too busy to take an occasional day off playing hookie, or that we're not too busy to take family vacations.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Any day now...

I keep waiting for that second trimester boost of energy to appear but it hasn't yet. Will it ever come?


Ellie: Oh oh, Mommy. I got da booger.
Mommy: You have a booger?
Ellie: Yeah. Elp?
Mommy: Daddy, can you stop the car? This booger has been bothering me for days now.

(Stopping the car - we were still in our neighborhood, so no big deal - Mommy gets the biggest booger EVER out of Ellie's nose)

Later... Driving down the highway.

Daddy: Stop the car?
Daddy: Why?

Monday, June 01, 2009

An observation on diaper cream

Note to self: No matter how tired, pregnant or distracted you might be, diaper cream is NEVER... I repeat NEVER... a good substitute for toothpaste. Find a better excuse. Better yet, find the dang toothpaste!

Seven Dwarfs

Mommy: Who is that?
Ellie: Pincess!
Mommy: Yeah, it's Princess Snow White. Who are her friends?
Ellie: (Pointing) Gumpy!
Mommy: Yep. And the others?
Ellie: Uh...
Mommy: Dopey
Ellie: Dopeeee!
Mommy: Bashful.
Ellie: Basfu.
Mommy: Happy.
Ellie: HAPPY!
Mommy: Doc.
Ellie: Doctor.
Mommy: Sleepy.
Ellie: Seepy.
Mommy: Do you know who the last one is?
Ellie: Aah-chooo!
Mommy: Yep!