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Monday, August 31, 2009

Ellie, what do you want to be for Halloween?

"Umm... a bleew ladybug!"

Go figure.

Messing with Mommy

Ellie: What's dat?
Mommy: What?
Ellie: What's dat?
Mommy: My nose?
Ellie: What's dat?
Mommy: Do I have something on my face?
Ellie: What's dat?
Mommy: What is it?
Ellie: What's dat?
Mommy: Can you get it off?
Ellie: What's dat?
Mommy: Where is it?
Ellie: What's dat?
Mommy: Did I get it off?
Ellie: What's dat?
Mommy: Daddy, is there something on my face?
Daddy: No. Why do you ask?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tid-Bits III

I love how Ellie says "Good job Mommy" and even claps and cheers for me if I successfully use the potty. She'll even announce it to anyone who is listening, "Daddy! Mommy go pee-pee! Good job, Mommy?" If nothing else, I know I have at least one accomplishment done for the day.

I love how Ellie will moan (just like Mommy) when she's happy and relaxed.

I love how she pretends to be a cat and meows whenever she wants to snuggle a little more.

I think it's funny how she seems to have to get completely naked in order to pee in the potty. Much like George on Seinfeld - I wonder if she'll grow out of it.

If she's sad or pretending to be sad, I can always get her to laugh by exaggerating my own sniffles of sadness. She'll join in and take a big sniff in and stick her nose into the sky and laugh. I can almost always cheer her up quickly with this strategy, but Daddy often gets in trouble with it if she's upset about Mommy not being there. Maybe the technique reminds her too much of Mommy for Daddy to safely use it?

"Balloon" has evolved from Ba-ba to Boon to Bleewn (I'm assuming Balloon is next in line).

If she gets something stuck on her head, she turns to you and asks "Do you like my hat?" When you respond with "No I do not," she'll say "Good bye!" with a huff and a puff.

These days, if she's going somewhere, Ellie is galloping there.

When we say "Welcome back, Ellie," she'll respond with "elcome back me!"

She almost always refers to any cat as "nother Rascal!" I don't know why she likes Rascal so much.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rubber Baby Buggie Bumpers II

In passing on a family tradition, Ellie can't say it either.

Daddy: Rubber baby buggie bumpers
Ellie: Rubber baby boogers!
Daddy: Rubber baby buggie bumpers
Ellie: Rubber baby boogers!
Daddy: Rubber baby buggie bumpers
Ellie: Rubber baby boogers!

Repeat with more and more laughter each time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I fail to see the humor

Just now, I was talking to some colleagues of mine in the hallway about the issues we're seeing with our project. Along comes a guy (who sits close-ish to me, but isn't part of my team) who has a smug look on his face. He comes up to our group, stands close enough to me and another coworker that I'm already a little uncomfortable, and says, "I'll tell you something that will make your problems seem small," with a big smile on his face.

One of us asked what and his response was "My daughter is one of the confirmed cases of Swine Flu from CU and I'm her primary care-giver." We all take an unconscious step away from him and he laughs "See? Imagine the work I'm going to get done in the next week or so when everyone is avoiding me."

Now, mind you, I do think the whole Swine Flu scare is going a little over-board. I do think it's silly that just because my daughter happens to take a flight on a plane, she has to stay away from daycare for 3 full days.

That being said, though, I'm standing next to this guy as a 7.5-month-pregnant woman with a 2 year old daughter. I fail to see the humor in the situation and found the guy to be particularly rude. Let it be known that I will be avoiding his area for a while AND ***IF*** I come down with the flu while pregnant, I will know whose @$$ to kick.

50 Days

50 Days. I repeat 50 days.

Pop quiz

Pop quiz everyone! Tell me what Ellie really meant:

Ellie: I na see Daddy's cock.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What a difference a smile can make

We finally found a dentist that we like! Yay!

Attempt 1 (20 months):
This guy was nice enough and took a moment to show Ellie his toys, but in the end she was still too scared to let him look in his mouth. It was a grown-up dentist office and filled with scary looking equipment. I later found out that he wasn't a pediatric dentist so I decided to try one of those out.

Attempt 2 (24 months):
I learned that just because a guy can call himself a pediatric dentist, does not mean he is good with children. Go figure. Even the "toy" room scared Ellie and the dentist was horrible. He came in already dressed with his scary face mask and gloves and then proceeded to only talk to me. I don't even think he said "Hi" to Ellie. She was scared of him, which was no surprise. The surprise came in when he did nothing, absolutely NOTHING to try to calm her down. He definitely had the attitude of "crying is normal for this age, so just ignore it." During his exam, I heard words of "open bite" and "over bite" but when he was done, he just got up and left. I asked the nurse if these were things I should be concerned about and she looked at me in confusion and said "I don't know." I ended up passing the doctor in the lobby on my way out and asked him about it. He gave me a mini-lecture about how sucking on Bun Bun was doing horrible things to Ellie's mouth and that she will most likely have to have major orthodontics to recover, if not surgery. Uh, ok... thanks for telling me. On the way out, Ellie only said "No dentist. No dentist." Poor thing.

Attempt 3 (2 years, 4 months):
Jackpot! This place rocked! They had a castle that Ellie was excited to play in as soon as she saw it. She even left me at the reception and wandered off by herself. Then they called us back to watch a movie about why we brush our teeth and go to see the dentist (again, it was in a castle setting - AWESOME!). Ellie liked the movie, but you could still tell she was scared.

Next came the exam room, which wasn't filled with adult equipment. Instead, yep you guessed right... castle stuff! The assistant showed Ellie her Minnie Mouse gloves and helped Ellie put some on her own hands. Then they played with masks for a while and Ellie turned to me and said "Luke, I your fawder!"

There was a princess doll on the exam table and the assistant showed Ellie how she uses a mirror to count the teeth in princess' mouth. She asked Ellie to help her count. Then she asked Ellie how many teeth she has. Ellie said, "Ummm... two!"

Then came the box of treats. Ellie had a hard time picking a toy out and eventually decided on a fish. The three of us continued to play with our dentist masks and gloves until the doctor came in.

Right off the bat, she got down to Ellie's level and started talking to her and saying how she was a wonderful little girl and so pretty. The dentist did an exam on Mr. Bear's mouth and Mr. Bear got a bracelet for doing so well.

Here comes the surprise... Then Ellie exclaimed "My turn!" She laid on the table and put her sunglasses on and opened her mouth for the dentist. The dentist constantly rewarded Ellie with compliments about how special she was and how she was the dentist's most favorite patient.

The dentist was able to do a full exam and even cleaned Ellie's teeth! Ellie sat perfectly still the whole time. She would close her mouth only to smile after receiving another compliment from the nice dentist.

After the exam, Ellie got ANOTHER prize for being so good. She got two more bracelets, hugged the dentist and said "dank tu!"

Both the dentist and the assistant commented on how it's not common for a two year old to sit so still during an exam and that she was fantastic. Seriously, I attribute that ALL to the fact that they gave her extra attention. It wasn't even attention that required any more time or effort on their part (we were out of there in 45 minutes, which was the same as the previous places), but it made a world of difference. They talked **TO** Ellie and asked **HER** to participate.

Wow. Wow, I say. Wow. It was the completely opposite experience than the previous place. Wow. No tears for Ellie. No tears for Mommy. 3 bracelets and one fish worth of prizes and Ellie didn't want to leave!

And for those who are wondering about the horrible damage that Bun Bun caused... This dentist said that studies show that if a child stops a bad habit (sucking his thumb, pacifier or stuffed animal) by the time their permanent teeth start to grow, then they will typically grow in according to what their genetics would have done in the first place. She said that it's great that Ellie is not sucking on Bun Bun anymore, but it was nice to hear that we weren't horrible parents for letting it go this long.

So yay! What a relief that was.

UPDATE: (Thanks, Spleeness for the good idea) The dentist that we love is called Chilrden's Dentistry in Westminster. The dentist's name is Dr. Nelle Barr and I will say it again... the entire experience was a fantastic surprise.

Toe Cookies

Ellie: Watch Mommy.
Mommy: Ewww! Why are you putting your toes in your mouth?
Ellie: Yummy!
Mommy: Yucky!
Ellie: Cookies!
Mommy: They taste like cookies?
Ellie: Yeah! Yucky cookies!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Why?

Let the records show that Sunday, August 23rd of 2009 the WHY stage has begun in Niffer's household.

In the course of a single day, I had at least a half a dozen long drawn-out conversations with Ellie that seemed to lead nowhere. Let me give you some examples of the beginning of a conversation and the end. I'll leave it up to you to imagine the questions and answers the come in between.

START:
Ellie: Where we goin?
Mommy: Home.
Ellie: Why?

END:
Mommy: Because the car is tired.
Ellie: Why?

START:
Ellie: I can't see trees an rocks!
Mommy: That's because it's dark outside.
Ellie: Why?

END:
Mommy: Because Uncle David is at home sleeping too.
Ellie: Why?

START:
Ellie: I na ice-keam!
Mommy: We need to eat our dinner first.
Ellie: Why?

END:
Mommy: Because sometimes teddy bears need play too.
Ellie: Why?

START:
Ellie: Why I like cookies?
Mommy: Because they taste good.
Ellie: Why?

END:
Mommy: Because it's fun to go down the slide.
Ellie: Why?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Drawing Daddy

 
Seriously people, don't you think this is a fantastic drawing of Daddy? She drew a circle for the head and then drew in two eyes. Followed by a body and legs and arms. She even explained each step as she went. WOW!

If you can't see the resemblance, then maybe you should try tilting your head and squinting your eyes a little. See it now? Amazing, huh?

Don't ask her to repeat such wonderful results. I've tried. But at least I have proof that she did it once!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The center of the universe

Ok, so I totally taught my daughter this morning that the sun revolves around the Earth, but let's forget about that tiny little detail and move on with the story...

Ellie: Ah! Da sun is in my face!
Mommy: Yeah, the sun is really low, isn't it? Do you want to know how the sun works?
Ellie: Yeah.
Mommy: Do you remember how last night we watched the sun go behind the mountains?
Ellie: Yeah?
Mommy: Well, in the morning, the sun comes up from over there.
Ellie: Oh.
Mommy: That direction is East. The sun comes up in the east and goes down in the west, where the mountains are.
Ellie: Oh.
Mommy: The sun comes up from over there and goes up and up and up and then down and down and behind the mountains.
Ellie: Sun goes up up up and down hind mountain!
Mommy: Yep.
Ellie: Wat sun do hind mountain?
Mommy: Oh, that's a good question! The sun keeps going around the world until it comes back up over there.
Ellie: Oh. Daddy, sun come up up up and around and down hind mountain!

Little girl, if you really do understand that concept I think I may just have to cry.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Gramma-isms

We started painting the baby's nursery last weekend and Gramma came over to help. Ellie was a huge help too. We've recently been noticing that Ellie speaks a lot like Gramma, and by that I suppose I mean Mommy because I'm sure I'm a lot like her too.

Some examples:

Oh my goo-ness! Two boken eggs!
Oh my goo-ness! Peaches AN apples!
Ho-wy cow! Dat's a BIG wall!
Woah! I missed a spot!
Work work work.
Paint like dis: cover da wall. cover da wall.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Making friends

Sunday we went to the park, where we met a new little girl named Paige (Ellie's age). I silently watched as my little girl went through the steps of meeting a new friend.

First there was shyness. Each girl pretended to be shy and giggled at the other.

Then there were the demands for the Mommies to help out and play Ring Around the Rosie. If Mommy was there, the girls were comfortable playing and giggling with each other.

Next came down-time when the Mommies decided that they had enough spinning in circles. The girls took this time to show off their somersault abilities (I didn't know Ellie could do a somersault so well), still falling back on Mommy's support even if it was now just through words of praise.

Then it happened. Something clicked. It was magic.

The girls were friends. They grabbed each other's hands and spun in circles and then ran off into the grass field, hand-in-hand, taking turns falling and giggling and helping each other up.

It might very well have been the cutest thing I have ever seen. Paige's Mommy and I just stared in disbelief at how suddenly our little girls were truly interacting with each other. It took us a moment to recover ourselves, only to realize that our little girls were all the way across the field and could care less about where we were.

It's a good thing that they were actually running towards Ellie's Daddy (though Paige's Mommy didn't know this), and from what he said, it was even cuter to watch them running towards him.

I saw it happen right before my eyes. I swear. Oh man, my little girl is growing up. On our way home from the park, even Daddy commented on how much older she seemed to be. If growing up is a gradual process then I must be suffering from not paying much attention because at times, it certainly seems like Ellie changes in an instant.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Random Baby Observation

Baby Vincent II gets quite active when I'm frustrated.

Parenting

As Salina pointed out a few days ago, when it comes to parenting, everyone differs in their views on how to approach a situation.

When Ellie was just 4 months old we decided it was about time to figure out how to get her to sleep better through the night. We needed some ideas and so off to the bookstore we went!

While standing in the "Get Baby To Sleep" section, we were surprised when a complete stranger came up to us and said "Oh, the only thing that ever really truly works is to Ferberize the baby." For those who don't know, Dr. Ferber was the one who is accredited for the "Crying it out" method. The lady continued by saying "I know it sounds horrible, but the crying will only last a few days and then the child will sleep so much better." Away she went, looking confident and satisfied that she helped new parents learn a valuable lesson quickly.

Within seconds, another girl came around the bend. She was holding her young toddler and she was in near tears. Literally. She approached us and said "I heard what that lady said and please, please, please, whatever you do... DO NOT do that to your sweet innocent child! I can not imagine how horrible it must feel to be completely alone in the middle of the night and not have those you trust the most come to comfort you." We asked her what approach she took with her child and she said that she coslept with her. Intrigued, I asked her how old her daughter was before she started sleeping through the night. "Oh, she still wakes up 3-4 times a night." After a few minutes, she went off after we promised her not to scar our little one for life.

Needless to say, we were shocked at how quickly people were willing to give us unsolicited advice, not to mention how strongly they both felt about their views.

In the end, we discovered that we were middle of the road type people. I do not like the idea of having a child cry forever until they calm themselves down. However, there was no way in hell we would survive if our daughter was still waking up 3-4 times a night for two years! I know everyone's experience is different, but here's how ours ended up:

When Ellie woke multiple times a night, we tried everything to get her down to one night-time waking. We tried desperately to not feed her until 1:00 AM and just put her down after just calming her. We even tried cosleeping, but even from a young age, Ellie just thought it was playtime. I don't even recall the other things we tried (Parental amnesia gets us all, I think), but I do know that we felt like we were completely out of options. So one night, we decided to let Ellie "cry it out" if she woke before 1:00 AM, only our version was to let her cry for 15 minutes and then calm her down.

That night she slept until 1:15 (I did not sleep as well, since I was suffering from Engorged Cow Syndrome). It was almost like she just had to know the plan.

Later, when she was older (around 10 months) we went through a similar decision for getting her to sleep through the entire night. We tried everything from many books (most of them No-Cry-Solutions), but nothing worked. After a while, we decided "Tonight, she's going to cry it out."

That night she slept until morning. Go figure. This girl just needs to be told what was expected of her.

We've been pretty lucky. Ellie has almost always been a pretty decent sleeper. When she did wake up and cry, we would give her 15 minutes and she's almost always be back to sleep in 13, but that didn't happen very often.

I recall being so jealous of the parents who did not have to use any version of Crying it Out.

The parents who were able to co-sleep with their babies - oh how relaxing that must be! Unfortunately, even from a very young age, Ellie always assumed that sleeping with us meant play time. We could go for hours of playing dead before she'd finally pass out with sheer exhaustion.

The parents who were able to get their babies to sleep in the car, then transfer them to the crib - oh how peaceful and magical that sounds. For one, Ellie screamed every second she was in the car until she was about 4-5 months old. For two, the few times she did fall asleep, she was awake as soon as I put the car into park. I never once had the opportunity to try transferring her.

The parents who were able to get their babies to sleep by just sitting within view of the crib - I would love to be able to watch Ellie fall asleep. Nope. Again, literally hours would pass before Ellie would finally fall down almost-dead, only to wake up shortly after and in a bad mood.

Somewhat unfortunately, we felt like we were forced into a version of crying-it-out because nothing else worked. I don't think any set of parents ever go straight to that method without trying all the others. However, for us, it was magic. If we were willing to wait 10 minutes, she'd stop and put herself to sleep (and that's on the rare occasion when she cried at all).

I sometimes would get tired of the parents who would look at me like I was tormenting my child. Ellie was always super happy in the mornings, well rested and very confident. I never felt like she was being scarred. In fact, I felt like it was less so if she fell asleep without me there because then she wouldn't wake up expecting me to still be there.

Anyway, moving on...

It has been a long long time since we had to deal with any of that. Ellie slept so well all the way up until we started traveling a lot this summer. Even if she didn't join us, she'd be sleeping with someone while we were gone. She also started having nightmares recently (a symptom of her age, I'm assuming). She also started sleep walking. And of course, we amputated Bun Bun.

So now, who knows what the cause of the crying is, but I'm certain we found ourselves having contributed to making a bad habit. Ellie wakes now and feels like she needs us to go back to sleep. I simply don't think that's true because she has been so good at it in the past.


UPDATE:

It took us a while to decide to finally let Ellie "cry it out" again this time, but we finally made the decision about 5 days ago. We told Ellie there were new bedtime rules:

1. Go to sleep.
2. Stay in bed.
3. Wait until Mommy comes to get you in the morning.
4. Make eggs.

Ok, so Ellie always adds the last one, but she likes eggs!

The first night, she woke twice and cried for 6 minutes one time and 4 minutes another. She did get out of bed and Daddy put her back into bed, but he didn't speak a single word to her. The next night she woke and cried once for about 5 minutes. The third night she slept until I woke her. The forth night she slept until 6:30. The fifth night she slept until 6:45 and last night she slept until I woke her.

Once again, it felt like she just needed to be told the rules. Considering that she's sleeping better, for the small price of 15 minutes of total crying (which is less crying than she was doing when we'd go to her all the time), I hardly consider this to be scarring to a child. She is by far a happier little girl when she sleeps well, so isn't it worth it?

This morning I went in to wake her up and asked her if she wanted to get out of bed. She told me no and that she just wanted to sleep. The rest of the morning was filled with tons of smiles and hugs. TONS of hugs! It was wonderful.

I didn't write this long post to criticize parents who don't let their children cry it out at all, and I certainly understand that one should react to a baby differently than to an older toddler. I also didn't write this post to make it sound like I felt like I was being attacked this time around (Salina, I apologize if it feels that way), but I realized that I never wrote about this in the past so I thought I'd put my experience out there. I'm not saying that crying it out is the best solution, but I am saying that parents shouldn't be fearful of it being a possibility.

The end. Sorry for the Monday Niffer lecture. Life is good. We're sleeping well again (minus the super-pregnant-can't-move-easily-Niffer and the I-just-threw-out-my-back-and-can't-sleep-Daddy) and everyone is in smiles.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A dream of mine

One dream that I've always had that I doubt will ever come true is to live in a restored old school house (or church, for that matter).

Check out this listing in Ft Collins.

My mom once owned a wonderful cute little house across the street from this gem in Morrison.


And here is one that is right up the street from where we live.

Excuse my drool, but I absolutely love these types of places. However, I doubt that it will ever become a reality for me. I don't say that with regret, though, because there are good reasons (their names happen to be Ellie and Baby Vincent II). But if I didn't have those two wonderful people in my life, I think I'd push for my school house harder (that and more travel to Europe). It's too bad money trees don't spread as easily as the aspens we have in our yard.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Daddy's Sleep Prediction II

Well he was right. The first words out of Daddy's mouth this morning were "Did we make it?"

Ellie not only slept the entire night with no wakings (or at least none in which she made any peeps or squawks), but she was also asleep when I went to wake her up in the morning.

AWESOME! Let's hope we're in the clear now!

We certainly made a big deal out of it and how she was such a big girl to follow the new rules. I'll write more about it when I am more certain that this is behind us.

To all the parents out there dealing with sleep issues... I hope you're doing ok! =)

Thank you, Aunt Erin!

I was waiting to publish this post until after I could scan a picture of me holding my big doll, but something tells me that Aunt Erin could use a pick-me-up...

Little Niffer once had a big doll who was taller than she. I loved that thing. I can still remember how awesome it was to strap her feet to mine and have her walk with me.

Ellie now has a similar doll (though I'm sure Grandma will make her an even bigger one soon). Aunt Erin got it for her. She loves it. Whenever she sees the doll, she wants to dance with her.

She even requested having a picture taken of her and the doll. That NEVER happens. To have her actually suggest taking a picture is UNHEARD of, but I guess it goes to show how great she thinks the gift was.

Thanks, Aunt Erin. We love you!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Buddha Belly

In the wise words of my hubby, but incredibly unwise words of nearly everyone else (Iman is excused): Buddha Buddha Buddha!

Check out my henna tattoo! Iman took this picture (of course - it's fantastic) when the henna paste was still on my belly. I love how it looks so striking, even if the paste is cracking. I find it stunning. Strange, but stunning.

I have to say that getting a henna tattoo was one of the more bizarre experiences I have had. The lady who did it was more hippie than anyone I have ever spent time with in the past. It looked like it had been 10 years since cutting her hair or even shaving. She didn't wear a bra and wore a long flowy skirt. She was nice enough, but could have used some deodorant. She handed me the tube of henna and asked that I say a prayer to tell the henna what kind of experience I was requesting from it. I silently told the henna that I just wanted a tattoo and wasn't looking for anything more serious out of our short encounter with each other. For the next hour, she painted on my belly, which in itself was a strange feeling because no one has ever done that before.

I showed her some pictures of tattoos that I liked, pointing out that the spirals going to the belly button called to me. She agreed that they were powerful images. I also told her that I liked trees. So... you see the result. I love it!

Baby loved it too! The henna had eucalyptus in it, and though I don't know for sure if that's what caused it, the baby was suddenly more active and strong than I have ever felt to this point. Of course, Ms Henna Lady attributed it to the magic empowering nature of henna and claimed that this will definitely give the baby a head start in life. Ummm...

All in all, I like the tattoo a lot but I've discovered that working with a bunch of engineers makes it hard to find people to show off my belly to. And I'm glad that baby is active, don't get me wrong, but the idea that a henna tattoo will give my baby a great head start in life doesn't mesh well with my own engineering mindset.

Happy tattoo everyone!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Daddy's Sleep Prediction

Two more days.
We are going to get to sleep again in two more days.
I can feel it!
It's coming!
(or maybe that is the coma)

There's big and then there's Niffer big!

Oh man, guys. I'm predicting more and more posts about the pregnancy.

I'm feakin' huge! With still 10 weeks left before baby is due, I've had multiple people ask me about my upcoming due-date, only thinking that it was within a week or two. Even my coworkers, in their geeky engineering ways, admitted that my dw/dt rate has increased significantly in the last week or so.

I've also gotten a lot of comments from people concerned for my health, asking if my pregnancy is still treating me ok. Apparently I look like $#!+ from being as tired as I am.

It's so different than my first pregnancy, where I was constantly getting comments like "You barely look pregnant" or "Wow! You're so small!" Nope, nothing like that this time around.

In fact, it's a little discouraging that even my pregnancy pants from my first no longer fit me. What's worse is that it's not even that they're a tight fit - it's that they DO NOT go up and over my thighs. It's starting to get difficult to handle because I'm not used to this. I have never been this big before.

When I was pregnant with Ellie, one of my friends was pregnant with her second. She commented all the time about how she was so tired of people asking her if she was carrying twins. I wonder if that's what my near-future holds for me. In case anyone asks, let's make it perfectly clear right now... NO I'M NOT CARRYING TWINS!!!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ellie's first joke

Apparently, Ellie has heard us tell this story to too many people. She now tells the story herself and laughs every time. It doesn't help that Mommy laughs too, but I'm trying to hold it in. I swear.

Knock on wood

I'm going to take a moment to comment on how wonderful Ellie has been recently. Over all she has been so pleasant and even if she fusses because she wants something, she will usually stop after we give her a valid reason why she can't have it. There have been very very few tantrums and/or breakdowns and those that have occurred have been due to her being tired or hungry.

I may regret saying this, but these Terrible Twos aren't so terrible after all. What's the big deal? She's so much fun!

I'm sure that there are some of you out there who will respond with agreeing that your experience has shown that the Terrible Twos really weren't that big of a deal. You'd probably tell me that the only reason they put the label to the Twos is that they just don't have a word to describe the Threes. I know a few parents who have told me that they were surprised at how much more difficult the Threes were than the Twos.

But for now, I'm going to risk it. My little girl is still wonderful and sweet. I hope she knows it.

Friday, August 07, 2009

It's time to call in the experts

It's been over a week now since Bun Bun was amputated and we're not doing so well. Ellie gave us false hope when she slept ALMOST all the way until morning (she cried around 5:30 one morning and 5:50 another), but other than that it's been horrible.

Luckily, putting her asleep isn't really an issue. It's keeping her asleep that is our problem. Or I guess I should say her lack of ability to put herself back to sleep is the problem. Apparently this was where Bun Bun's arms' true magic came in.

Last night she was up 4 times with bad dreams. On a positive note, Daddy didn't have to go into her room at all and was able to calm her down by just talking to her from the door. Mommy doesn't even attempt because she knows I'll break down and lay with her. But 4 times is still 4 times, and it's even more than that when you consider how hard it is for Daddy to go back to sleep. Poor Daddy.

So this afternoon, while I sit and wait for my henna tattoo to dry (so excited!) I'll be doing laundry and reading our "Healthy Sleep Happy Baby" book in hopes of there being good stuff in there for 2+ year olds. Any advice or suggestions will gladly be taken!

Meet Sophie

We bought a wonderfully cute doll for Ellie in Paris. If there was one lesson we learned with Naked Baby, it's that a doll needs a name. We figured that it would be best to introduce Ellie to a named doll in hopes of avoiding the need for the baby suffering the same clothes-less fate as Naked Baby.

Ellie likes Sophie a lot. I wouldn't say she's replaced any existing favorite friends, but she certainly liked the new baby.

And the clothes lasted for a whole 5 minutes before Ellie insisted that Sophie needed to be naked as well! Doh. I don't understand the obsession my daughter has on her dolls needing to be naked.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Inspiration from the French II

It was my trip to Paris during my last pregnancy that led to the final decision on a nursery theme. We decided to go with the Sweet Vanilla bedding and this little guy was the one who inspired that decision.

This time around, we toyed with the idea of re-using the bedding because we still love how calming the cream and beige colors were. However, we also want to make the nursery unique for this baby and couldn't quite figure out how to go about doing that.

In an attempt to simplify the decision, I decided to take advantage of the trip to Paris and search for a fuzzy guy for the new baby. Meet Bussie. Cute, isn't he?

So there you have it, we're going to re-use the old bedding but replace the sheep (grandma claims it will be easy) with bears!** We're also going to focus on the moons and stars and attempt to do a "sweet dreams" sort of theme.

I haven't figured out how it will all pull together yet, but I'm getting excited, which is good because baby comes in 10 weeks regardless of how much I try to hold her/him in!

** Similar to last time, please do not send bears. As it is, I'm sure I will have to control myself in order to avoid having an entire den full of growling bears. The only exception to this rule is Aunt Erin. Congrats, you have permission to buy a perfect, shaggy bear for the baby because you did so well at buying Ellie a fantastic shaggy sheep. Let me know if you want suggestions - I found some great bears!

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Calling all Bloggers

Has anyone ever used Blurb, or something similar, to easily print your blog into a book? I'd love to do this someday but am finding that I don't have the time to go through the effort of copying my blog into a word document (or something similar). I recall looking into Blurb once before (heck, I ended up on their email list), but I don't remember why it wouldn't work for Blogger. Apparently it does now.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on any good or bad products you've found.

I love Paris

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I love Paris. Heck, I love all of Europe, but Paris does hold a special place in my heart because that's where Michael proposed. I was lucky to have had the opportunity to go when I was pregnant with Ellie (though it was with my mom and sister, not Michael), and I was thrilled when I found out that I could go again during this pregnancy. I was craving Europe badly, people! Michael went for work (he's now working on a project that may take him to Europe a couple times a year... Yay!) and I told him that there was no way in hell he was going to Paris without me joining.
It was interesting being in Paris again. I wasn't sure how it would be because we didn't feel like we needed to see any of the typical touristy things we saw during our first trip. We didn't even feel like we needed to go to the top of the tower, though that's where he actually proposed. Even so, we knew we had to at least SEE the tower again - no doubt about that one. In Paris with my soul-mate, some things just go without questioning.
But like I said, we didn't see any of the things we saw before. We walked by Notre Dame, but not inside. What took me by surprise, though, was how fantastic the sites we did see where. We went to the Orsey and Rodin Museums - both were top notch museums and much more Niffer-friendly. I apparently have a short fuse when it comes to how much museum I can handle at a given time and both of them passed the test. \

Another wonderful surprise was Saint Germaine Cathedral. Last visit, Saint Chapelle became my favorite church because everything was still painted like it was when it was first built (no white columns or statues). I found that it made the church more real, inspiring and warm and friendly (this coming from someone who absolutely loves churches). It turns out that Saint Germaine was the same way, only it was actually the oldest church in Paris. I LOVED it!
When I was in Paris during my first pregnancy, I got Ellie a stuffed sheep and decided that it would be the inspiration for the nursery. This time, I bought a cute teddy bear for the new baby in hopes of including it in the nursery as well (more on that later).
It was nice to focus a little on the baby during the trip and remind myself that the pictures we took in Paris will probably be special to the baby.
Me and Bussi Bear in Luxembourg Gardens. I don't know what it is about tummy pictures that makes my tummy explode as the day goes on. This picture was taken in the afternoon on the same day as the one below (taken first thing in the morning). Apparently unborn babies like their pictures taken a lot! They grow out of that quickly.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Sweet Little Flower

I'm so spoiled guys. Iman is fantastic. I can't wait to see more!

Hi there, Baby!

I realize that it has been way too long since I actually had my big ultrasound appointment. These were taken at 20 weeks, so they're easily 2.5 months old, but it's better late than never, right?

I recall staring at a similar picture of Ellie during my first pregnancy. I couldn't get enough of it. But this time, I don't feel like I need the picture to appreciate the baby growing inside me. Granted I don't notice the baby as much as my first, but it's comforting to know that I can usually feel movement within minutes if I stop and pay attention.

video
This baby is so much more active than Ellie was (watch Baby kicking!). In some regards it's comforting because it typically doesn't take long for me to be reassured that life is still present. However, in other regards it's stressful. You might ask how.

I recall complaining about the lack of ultrasound pictures I got with my first pregnancy. It took me by surprise that a typical pregnancy would only have a single ultrasound appointment from which one could take home pictures of the baby. I had friends who had higher risk pregnancies and was always jealous of the pictures they got (though never jealous of the reasons for needing more ultrasounds). I recall stating that I wish I had more ultrasounds.

I should have been more specific but I have had more ultrasounds with this baby. It seems as though the doctors just can't ever get a good reading on the baby's heartbeat so just about every appointment has resulted in an ultrasound that shows the baby happily active, just moving too much to ever get a good reading. As luck would have it, the baby also moves too much to get good pictures. I've gotten the additional ultrasounds that I requested, but still no pictures. Ugh.

But at least the baby is healthy. Life is good. And look! Baby feet! Adorable.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Halloween Plans

You might not think it, but it's that time of the year - or at least one of them. I've found myself looking for Halloween options. This year will mark the first year that Ellie will most likely have a big say in her costume, but that doesn't mean I can't look for the baby! I might as well start early, right?

The problem I'm coming across is getting something small enough. Chances are the baby will be less than a month old when Halloween comes, so I need to think small.

Here are my current favorites (in order of favorites, but not necessarily taking gender into consideration):






When you get bigger...

Ellie met her first real princess this weekend. We went to a friend's wedding and Ellie was fantastic! It was quite a surprise how much she enjoyed what I thought would be a very boring event for her.

The wedding was outdoors and she watched the pretty girls in blue dresses walk down the stairs. I told her she had to be quiet so she whispered the whole time and asked lots of questions. She asked about the little kids (flower girl and ring bearer) carrying the flowers and why they were confused about where to go (so adorable), and why the little boy didn't think he could step on the flowers (you should have seen it).

She whispered questions about the princess and the prince standing up in front of everyone and why they were doing so. I explained to her that they loved each other very much and were getting married. I told her that Mommy and Daddy loved each other too and that they once got married just like this princess.

At the reception, Ellie had a good time watching the band play music. There were also chipmunks outside to entertain her, along with the fact that she kept whispering (which was adorable).

Ellie's eyes lit up nice and wide whenever she saw the princess. "Dere she is Mommy! See? See the pincess?" She got a little embarrassed when the princess came by to say hi, but she did say "Hi pincess" in return and told her that her dress was very pretty. "Jus like Cinder-ee-a!" I'm sure the princess was flattered.

Ellie's favorite part of the whole wedding (aside from the cupcakes and candy) was by far when the princess danced with the prince. Ellie's eyes were glued to them. You could see all sorts of fairy-tale visions piling in her head. Princesses were real! She found a REAL prince! Wow!

When they were done with their dance, she cried for more, but she did settle for watching the princess dance with her Daddy. Afterwards, Ellie danced with her Daddy too, while Mommy stood in the corner and tried to cry discretely.

After the dances, we had to go. Ellie, knowing the proper thing to do, insisted that we say goodbye to the princess and the prince before leaving.

On the way to the car, she informed us that she wanted to be a princess when she gets bigger and have a party just like this one.

Mommy: Oh? What else do you want to do when you get bigger?
Ellie: I get ear-rins, jus ike Mommy!
Mommy: What else?
Ellie: I each the handle, jus ike Uncle Davie!
Mommy: What else?
Ellie: I ride Daddy bicycle!
Mommy: Oh, that would be fun! What else?
Ellie: I get baby in tummy!
Mommy: Oh? Not until you're really really bigger!
Ellie: OK! Weally weally bigger! When I ge bigger, I be pincess an ave baby in tummy!
Mommy: Let's talk about something else, shall we?