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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Tid-Bits IV

Every yellow car is a taxi. I don't ever correct this mistaken assumption, though, because I think yellow cars are hideous and might as well be taxis.

I love how willing Ellie is to give people hugs. She is so full of love, even for those who she hasn't known for long.

I love how she still adores Bun Bun even if she doesn't *need* her like she once did. She's even willing to share and insists that Mommy lays with her own Bun Bun.

I love how she has started to try to figure out how things work. "How dis work?" she'll ask and then continue to experiment with different possibilities.

I love how when she's speaking about people she likes, she refers to them with a "My." The obvious examples are "my mommy" and "my daddy" but others include "my uncle David," "my aunt Erin" and "my Brynnie."

When her nose is stuffed-up, she'll announce "My nose is messed-up!"

Sleeping Beauty (her favorite princess) is really called "Sleeping Booty."

Her fake laugh is much like Janice's laugh on friends. Daddy hates it. I think it's hilarious. We're working on fine-tuning it.

She does not realize the over all truth in the statement "Daddies have meatballs!"

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Excited for our baby

For a while now Ellie has been quite excited to become a big sister, just like Brynnie. It is actually quite touching to see how Ellie responds to the topic as a whole.

She's proud to announce "I'm a big sissa soon! Maybe 'morrow!"

She'll ask me questions like "Is baby ok today, Mommy?" or "Is baby kicking now?" and loves to feel the baby kick inside of my tummy.

She's been known to give me a hug and then decide "I na hug my baby too!" and will bend down to hug my tummy. This is often followed by "I love my baby," which just melts my heart into goo.

She likes to show people the baby's room and explain to them that the baby has really soft blankets and the teddy bear is the baby's friend.

She gets upset if you take something out of the baby's room that she knows belongs to the baby.

She reminds me that "soon our baby here and Mommy can jump on bloons!" because I explained to her that my tummy is too big to join her in her favorite activity.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tokens of Love

Ellie's list of favorite music has expanded a little since I told you about the wonders of Paul Simon, but only a little. She still loves French music and the "drum songs" are still her favorite.

Recently, though, I've gotten her interested in a set of CDs that her Daddy made me when he first told me he loved me. Yes, one of those cheesy stories. Ellie digs it. The CD includes Paul Simon's "Obvious Child" and Ellie absolutely loves it. I think she likes the story behind the CD just as much as the music, though, because when I play it she'll remind me that it was the CD that Daddy made me when he told me he loved me. She seems to understand that it's special music because Daddy loves Mommy.

I think she actually thinks that Daddy wrote the song itself because she tells me "Daddy make song. He loves Mommy very very much." She seems impressed that he loves me so much he would write a song for me. Let's hope that when she gets into college, she doesn't tell a friend "my dad wrote the lyrics to Obvious Child" only to be told "are you an idiot?" I'm sure everyone has their version of stories like that. For me, I thought my Dad made up "Plop. Plop. Fizz. Fizz. Oh what a relief it is!" for a nice, appropriate song to sing while on the toilet. It wasn't until I saw the old Alka-Seltzer commercial when I was in college that I realized he wasn't the brilliant mind behind the lyrics. I was crushed.

Anyway, I've digressed...
Ellie has her own special token of love too. A week or so ago I gave her a "special rock" explaining to her that it was because Mommy and Daddy love her very much. It looks just like the picture above (that I found online). I gave it to her because on multiple occasions she wanted to put some rocks under her pillow when she slept at night. We were concerned about them being choking hazards so I gave her a rock that can't fit in her mouth.

She loves the thing. She likes to know that it's always under her pillow and she likes to hold it while she's getting ready for bed. In the morning you'll hear her say "Oh oh! Where's my rock? Oh, dere it is!" And she'll explain to me things like "I love my rock. Mommy and Daddy love me!" This girl takes after her Mommy. I'm so proud of her.

It's neat for me to watch her grasp the concept of how something can be meaningful without costing a lot of money or being really flashy. She knows the music is more special than the other stuff and she knows that her rock is more special than the ones she wanted before. I think that's a good lesson to learn and I love that my love for simple things like rocks seems to be rubbing off on her.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Becoming a dealer

I've already mentioned that I'm addicted to Etsy, but now I discovered that people sell photographs there too! I think many of our photographs from Europe are just as worthy to sell as some of the ones I'm seeing on Etsy. Click on "Treasure Hunting" to the right if you haven't seen them already.

I think I may end up becoming a dealer for other people's addictions. It could help finance my own addictions. LOL.

What do you think?

Now I have to ask myself if I care whether or not the images are copyrighted. Does anyone know how to copyright an image and how long it takes or how much it costs?

A girly moment

The other day it took us an hour to get home from school, instead of the normal 15 minutes. We went rainbow hunting and as Ellie pointed out, they're really hard to see! However we were lucky enough to see not only one rainbow, but two! And the entire time we were listening to "On my own" from Les Miserables "really really really louder" (a.k.a blasting the volume).

It was quite the girly moment. I even considered painting our toenails when we got home.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Naming Baby II

At least she's consistent:

Mommy: If our baby is a boy, what should we name him?
Ellie: Umm... Ummm... I call him "Little Girl."
Mommy: What if our baby is a girl?
Ellie: Umm... I like Kyle!

Just about every time we ask, the baby's name should be Kyle if it's a girl and "Little Girl" if it's a boy. Go figure.

P.S. Today Baby is officially full-term. Wow!

A tender moment

Daddy: You're my girl.
Ellie: (hugging Daddy) You my boy.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Too Much

Well, I got the lecture from the doctor about gaining too much weight this time around. She wants me to try to not gain any more weight between now and when the baby comes. Hmm... I'm not sure how that's possible. She suggested 30 minutes of exercise every day.

This is a sore spot for us. During my first pregnancy, we paid close attention to how much weight I was gaining. We went out of our way to make sure we were eating healthy and all the right stuff. Michael would cook for me and even had time to make special lunches for the two of us. We also went on daily walks in the evening.

Unfortunately, and we both feel quite guilty about it, those things haven't happened this time. Our excuse, if there is one, is that we're so busy with Ellie. If Michael comes home and cooks then we're not done with dinner until 6:45 or 7:00, and with Ellie's bedtime being 7:45 (bed time routine starts at 7:10 or 7:15), then where's the time? And who really wants to cook when you're so tired or when it's so much fun to play with Ellie instead (she's a lot of fun this age)? And I know I haven't been keeping as close eye on my weight gain, I think because it bothered me that I started out at a higher number to begin with. Lastly, it was a lot easier to take evening walks when you didn't have to worry about a 7:45 bedtime - I suppose I could go alone.

So... there you have it. We feel guilty - perhaps this is the first real difference between the kids. We fear that we've given Ellie a better head-start in life than this baby. Maybe that means she'll be smarter? Maybe that means she'll be more healthy? Maybe... maybe... maybe...

I'd like to know how common this is. I know the average weight gain during pregnancy is 25-35 pounds, but what is the statistic for second pregnancies? Is it higher? Is it the same? I gained 30 pounds with Ellie and I'm up 37 pounds with this baby. What will that do? The doctor says it could mean the baby will be bigger and thus it might be a more difficult birth (I somehow doubt it can be as bad as my first birth, when she was posterior). But what about longer-term effects? Does anyone know?

How much wood could the woodchuck chuck?

After exhausting the baby bumpers:

Mommy: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Ellie: Huh?
Mommy: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Ellie: Chug chug choo choo!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun with Aunt Erin

Beware: this post contains a lot of pictures. I figured it would help cheer up Aunt Erin and convince her to come home soon.

We went to visit Erin in New York for Labor Day weekend and had a ton of fun. I must say that traveling with Ellie is a pleasure. Sure, we're all tired after a long day of travel (who isn't?) but she really is an enjoyable companion. She sleeps when we want her to, she eats (and eats a lot) when we want her to, she behaves when we want her to... if it weren't for the fact that it's nice to sleep in my own bed, sometimes I wish we could travel more often.

For weeks Ellie was excited to see Aunt Erin and talked about her upcoming trip. When the day finally came, she announced that she wanted to ride a purple plane and an orange plane (she knew we had to take two planes to get to Erin). We searched for a purple or orange plane but couldn't find one. She seemed ok with that since she knew we tried. "Maybe next day," she said.
Ellie recognized Aunt Erin right off the bat and ran to give her a hug. It is nice that she has a longer memory now and doesn't require a warm-up period like she did last time. The first night we stayed at Aunt Erin's place and Ellie helped Erin do her exercise routine in the morning. Later that morning we went swimming, and much to our surprise Ellie REALLY enjoyed it. We should look into swim lessons soon.
Next we went to the New York balloon festival. Ellie was really looking forward to this because we had been telling her that she could get really close to the balloons. Unfortunately, it wasn't anything like the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, where they basically shoo people away when a balloon is going to launch.
Instead, we watched from a distance, but Ellie still really enjoyed it and wanted to share the pictures with Grandma when we got home. Ellie did get to play inside of an old balloon, so I'm sure that was pretty neat for her. She also got to bring home her very own balloon and was excited when she saw one launch that looked just like hers.
Next we spent a couple days in Ithaca, which was a very pretty city. On the way there, we stopped at the Corning Glass Museum (picture not shown), where Ellie really took us by surprise when she behaved the entire time (it could not have been very exciting for her). Like I said, she's such a pleasure to travel with. We took Ellie to the science museum and she had a lot of fun learning about how to effect things like water and air. Her favorite was the cubby of mirrors, but she really enjoyed the entire place. This little girl loves to learn new things.
The entire time we were there, Aunt Erin played her latest favorite songs and even taught Ellie how to howl at the werewolf song. It was pretty funny to see the effect Aunt Erin had on Ellie - I'm not sure she's used to being around someone who loves music so much.
We made sure to try to get in our fix of playgrounds because we knew that would keep Ellie very happy. What we didn't know was that it would also keep Aunt Erin happy. She loved to play with Ellie and we got some great pictures!
Below you see Aunt Erin and her magic blue cape. She had Ellie convinced that it could make her fly. Watch the video for proof.
video
Ithaca is filled with gorges and waterfalls. We had our very own waterfall in the backyard of the place we were staying and we saw a waterfall in one of the gorges that cuts straight through Cornell's campus (crazy, huh?) Ellie loved the waterfalls and especially enjoyed putting her feet in the water and throwing rocks. She learned that the word "Plunk" sounds a little funny and laughed a lot at that.She was constantly making us laugh, though I wish I could say I kept track of everything she said. One time, though, we were on our way back to the house to take a nap and I asked Daddy if he was going to nap too. Ellie spoke up from the back of the car and said "NO, Mommy! He can't! Daddy driving! Daddy need to look at road! He can't close eyes! No, Mommy!" It's a good thing she reminded us or who knows what might have happened if Daddy fell asleep at the wheel!In the end, it was a very enjoyable trip to see Aunt Erin and Ellie has asked to go back a couple times since we returned. We miss you already, Erin!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Je suis Muzzy! Je suis grand!

In another sad attempt at getting Ellie into a French class that fits our schedule, we may be resorting to buying DVDs or online activities. This is a constant frustration for me as a working mother because I really want my daughter to be exposed to languages, but apparently only those who have stay-at-home moms are special enough to do that.

Anyway... I found Muzzy!!! I remember Muzzy from my own French classes and I recall liking him a lot. Apparently for the same price as one of the inconvenient Wednesday morning classes, I can get Muzzy Level I in FIVE DIFFERENT LANGUAGES!!! It seems like a steal to me.

Another option might be Little Pim but I know nothing about that Panda, but Angelina Jolie uses the program so it must work, right?!

Regardless, these DVDs are giving me hope. We would love to do more French because even to this day (6 months or so AFTER our last French class), Ellie can still count to 10 in French and still LOVES French music. Daddy wants to learn French too!

Wish me luck in my continual search for options and please let me know if there is a fantastic resource I'm overlooking!

Rubber Baby Buggie Bumpers III

A slight improvement over last time:

Daddy: Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
Ellie: Rubber baby bunkers.
Mommy: She's caught up to me!
Daddy: Rubber baby buggy bumpers.
Ellie: Rubber baby bunkers.
Daddy: Rubber...
Ellie: Baby...
Daddy: Buggy...
Ellie: Ladybug!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Telling stories

After I finished telling a story (which I acknowledge I need to improve on that skill) about Baby Ellie and Baby Merlin as well as a story about Princess Ellie and Princess Brynnie:

Ellie: More!?
Mommy: You want me to tell ANOTHER story?
Ellie: Yeah. Mommy story.
Mommy: A story about Mommy?
Ellie: Yeah! And Daddy!
Mommy: I just told a story.
Ellie: Nother story pease!
Mommy: But I just told two stories.
Ellie: No, like dis: Once pon time dere was Mommy, and one day she said yes.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

One month

That means a MAXIMUM of 4 weekends left. ACK!

Go Broncos!

As soon as Ellie say Daddy wearing his Bronco shirt, she insisted on wearing her matching cheerleader outfit. She was thrilled at being "just like Daddy" and super excited to watch football with him. On the way over to Grandpa's house, we practiced our "Go Broncos!" cheer and I must say that as far as sports go, a little girl cheering for the Broncos is pretty damn cute. Once there, the grandparents got a kick out of her outfit and we all laughed when she joined in the cheers to encourage the players to catch the ball (even if she was encouraging him during the replay footage). "Catch da ball! Catch da ball! Oh! Oh! Oh..... almost! Maybe next time." each time she saw the replay, as though expecting different results. And each time, she seemed genuinely disappointed in her team.

I think my husband is turning my little girl into a football fan. Who would have known that would happen to me? It certainly comes as a surprise to me. GO BRONCOS!

P.S. Just wait until you see how cute this picture will be when we have a little football baby for Michael to hold!

Monday, September 14, 2009

The names

So, are you excited to hear about the names we picked? If not, then go away. I don't want your negativity rubbing off on this post. lol.

Nearly from the start, we were set on the girl's name. We had a much easier time picking a girl's name last time too. I'm not sure why that is, but we had a couple great names the first time we started talking about it.

Adel.ine Rayne

Adel.ine was Michael's grandma's name and we love how it has multiple nickname options like Ellie's name does. We can go for Addie when she's younger (like Ellie) or Adel when she's older (like Lori). Adel.ine also means "Noble" and it's always a plus to have a good meaning.

There is no story behind "Rayne." I just liked how it sounded and I've always loved the rain and the smells that come with it.

Our second choice for a girl would have been Danica. We love the nickname "Danny" but don't like the names Daniel or Danielle because they mean "Judged by God." I know that can be taken in different ways, but as a non-super-religious-person I don't want my daughter to be continually judged by God. I want her to be loved by Him. Danica, on the other hand, means "Morning Star." Isn't that pretty?

The boy's name was much much more difficult. Since we were picking a name from Michael's side of the family for the girl, I wanted to pick one for my family for the boy. My Grandpa went by the nickname of Nikki and so we searched for a suitable "Nikki" type name. Dominic, meaning "Belonging to God," was our favorite option, but it is also more popular than either of us care for (as Jennifer and Michael... we're anti-popularity... our kids will have to rely on their personalities to get them through high school).

There were a couple names that have stuck with us for quite some time and Asher was one of them. In fact, I think we can both say that Asher is our favorite boy's name. The problem with it is that I fear it's more popular than I think it is (I've heard too many people say "I know an Asher who was just born"). In the end, we decided to keep Asher as a middle name because it would be neat to have the siblings have similar names (Ellie's middle name is Ashlyn) and to keep the initial A (we all have A middle names). I didn't want to risk naming my boy with a popular first name.

Then what is the name?

Brennan Asher

I'm not sure where Brennan comes from but it was really the combined meaning with Asher that got me hooked. Brennan means "Tears" and Asher means "Happy" or "Blessed One". When my husband pointed out that the combination of the names would be "Tears of Happiness" I was hooked. No, it doesn't have nicknames like Dominic would, but a recent note from Cracker's Mom made me question whether or not nicknames were a good thing. So Brennan it is. It's not too common and not too funky - perfect.

So for now... and for the next 31 days (give or take)... our baby is either:
Adel.ine Rayne
OR
Brennan Asher
It's official - I've even made the scrap book page to finalize it!

There is a part of me that likes Dominic better than Brennan, but mainly for the Nikki nickname. I've heard of parents who go into the hospital thinking one name and leave with a baby named something completely different. I'm sure that both Michael and I will keep an open mind and will change the name if we feel like a different option would fit better. After all, the scrap book page can be redone, right?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

What Niffer did for her anniversary

I think we actually picked baby names! No, really, we did. Both girl AND boy names! Please believe me. I swear, that's what we did. And it was kind of fun.

Fine don't believe me. I'll just make you wait to hear the results then. I would hate to have us change our minds and you accuse me of never having decided in the first place. =)

But, yay! Baby names! And the baby isn't even here yet! Go us!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Niffer!

We've been married for 2 Ellies now. Crazy.

If that didn't make sense to you, blame my hubby. He was the one who put the deep thought into my head. You can just nod and agree or say "congrats."

Lots 'o Ellie

A while ago, while we were in NJ at the beach, we went to a bakery one morning for muffins. The bakery had mirrors that covered the walls from floor to ceiling. Ellie liked standing in the corner holding her own hand and making a circle of Ellies. At the time, there were only 4 of them and part of me wished I had a camera to take a picture of how adorable they all were.

That part didn't last long because it was taken over by a sense of fear in my stomach. I started to imagine what it would be like to have to deal with 4 of these little bundles of energy AT THE SAME TIME! I couldn't move or speak because it was such a strange and scary scenario to imagine. Michael was in the same boat and I think he spoke about his vision before I was able to.

This last weekend we went to visit Aunt Erin in New York and had a blast (more great pictures to come soon). I got an opportunity to take a similar picture, though this one shows 6 Ellies! All together now, "Awwwww!" so cute. Now, imagine they're all yours and you might think differently.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Sunflower Baby

I believe that forever more, whenever I see daffodils or cherry blossoms (both, unfortunately, are more abundant in Maryland than here in Colorado), I will think of my little girl, Ellie.

Chances are that I will think of my next baby whenever the late summer fields are scattered with sunflowers. Some of them are grown in the local farms and grow to be huge! However, the wild ones seem to be happy just about anywhere. I like them both for different reasons. I'm not sure there is anything prettier than a field of sunflowers under a bright blue Colorado sky (sadly it was raining this day). Of course, the local hot-air balloons don't hurt (this picture was taken by Grandpa, aka Bob).

Here are some pictures that Grandpa took of us a couple weeks ago... the only thing that could have made them turn out better is if it wasn't rainy and cloudy that day! lol. Make sure you click to see the larger version of the panoramic ones - they just don't have the same feel of being surrounded by flowers when you see the small version.





I can't wait for our little Sunflower Baby to arrive! Only 5.5 weeks from now!

Monday, September 07, 2009

Naming Baby

Daddy: Ellie, our baby is a boy, what name do you think we should give him?
Ellie: Uh....
Daddy: What names do you like?
Ellie: Uh...
Daddy: If you have a baby brother, what should his name be?
Ellie: LITTLE GIRL!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Etsy Addiction

Dear Salina,

I'm now addicted to Etsy. I think you're to blame since you were the one who suggested it in the first place (thanks, btw).

I've gotten so many things for the nursery, scrapbooking and even my anniversary present for Michael from there. I also found an adorable hand-made doll that is just too precious to pass up, but I admit that it's more money than a store-bought doll (I'm thinking of getting Ellie a new baby when our baby comes). Then there are the lovies... oh, so cute! And the jewelry. And the costumes. And the hats.

I can't stop. This is not good. Yet, it's so good. So very good. And not.

-Niffer

Red Hot Mama!

I have been waiting for the approval to post this for quite some time, but I had to wait until Iman said it was OK. See the Boulder Women's Magazine article that I'm in (I'm told it's also delivered with the Boulder Daily Camera)! Once again, Iman has made me famous. Once again, I'm going to say that Iman is just fantastic! I was a little nervous about how this photo shoot would go because I was feeling so much bigger with this pregnancy than the last. But I look AWESOME!!!

I don't think you can get a more perfect pregnancy picture than the one above. I feel like it really conveys the feeling that a mother has for the baby growing inside. I can not express how nice it is to realize that I look good this pregnancy just like I did with my last. Again, thank you, Iman!Ellie joined in for the photo shoot too. Daddy brought her by a couple hours after I showed up and she knew exactly what the drill was. "Mahn take pictures an Lor-ee-elle get candy an go to park!" Once in the studio, she was quite the camera ham. She did absolutely everything that Iman asked her to do and LOVED the attention she was getting. We got tons of pictures out of her, which was just fantastic. Then she suddenly decided she was all done and in an instant, she started heading for the stairs to go play outside.

Really, we could not have asked for more out of her.

You ***MUST*** check out the other photos. There are so many cute ones!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Translating Pregnant Nifferese

And by "fork" I mean "milk"
And by "table" I mean "fridge"
And by "book" I mean "keys"
And by "dog" I mean "door"
And by "27" I mean "9"
And by "Alex" I mean "Me"
And by "cat" I mean "daughter"
And by "moon" I mean "milk"
And by "car" I mean "store"
And by "doctor" I mean "dog"

There is so much more where that came from, but I'm sure by now you have lost your interest in learning this new language. Sadly, so have I.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Maybe another day

Ellie has recently gotten a handle on the concept of "another day" and it's simply adorable because whenever she speaks about it, her voice gets really sad and disappointed sounding. I'm not sure if she ever knows when "another day" or "tomorrow" comes, but she now understands that it's definitely NOT today. So sad.

Some examples of things happening "another day" or "tomorrow"...

I no go to park. Maybe na-va day. Is too bad.
Maybe na-va day I get big and get ear-ins just like Mommy.
Boogers all gone. Maybe na-va day more boogers.
Not tonight. Is not open. I go last day. Maybe is open 'morrow. Maybe na-va day.
Maybe na-va day I wear panties just like Mommy. No today.
Maybe na-va day I see Brynnie and give hug.
Hi baby. Maybe na-va day I see baby?
My tummy full. Maybe eat na-va day.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Hugs to Daddy and Nana II

If this doesn't bring tears to your eyes, then you should get them checked out!

Ellie: Where's Daddy?
Mommy: Um... Daddy is out of town.
Ellie: Why?
Mommy: Daddy went to go see his grandpa.
Ellie: (very sad) Daddy fix Gapa?
Mommy: No, Daddy can't fix his grandpa. He's sad.
Ellie: (very concerned) My gapa ok?
Mommy: Yep, your grandpa is fine.
Ellie: (relieved but still sad) My gapa ok. Daddy can't fix his gapa. Needs hug.
Mommy: You should give him one as soon as you see him.
Ellie: Ok. Is make him feel better.
Mommy: Yep.

Hugs to Daddy and Nana

Daddy's Grandpa died last week. Since his funeral is today, I thought that I would write in hopes of them knowing that we're thinking about them.

A COUPLE CONVERSATIONS FROM LAST WEEK-

Mommy: Ellie, Daddy is very sad today. He's going to need lots of hugs.
Ellie: OK. I give hug now! (jumps up and runs to give Daddy a hug).
Mommy: (while putting her clothes on) I bet he liked that. I'm sure he would like more and more hugs, too.
Ellie: (looking at Daddy) OK. I put coves on couple minutes an give Daddy nother hug!
Mommy: Oh, that's so nice of you. I think that will make Daddy feel much better.
Ellie: (giving Daddy another hug) Much better now, Daddy?

Mommy: Do you want to call Nana?
Ellie: Yeah!
Mommy: I think Nana is really sad today so be sure to tell her you love her.
Ellie: (along with other random conversational bits while talking to Nana) I ove you, Nana! Bye Nana!
Mommy: All done?
Ellie: Yeah. Is Nana appy now?
Mommy: I'm sure you made her feel much better.
Ellie: Nana's appy!

She's such a doll. What a beautiful person I have in my life.