Sunday, February 28, 2010

A belated Jingle Bells

Ugh! I totally forgot to post this! It's a good thing that toddlers love to sing songs regardless of what season it is!

Ellie's version of Jingle Bells:
Jingle bells. Jingle bells. Jingle all da way. Oh what fun it is to ride when wonder horses play!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

For those of you using Reader

I don't think you've seen the new and improved blog layout! Check it out! I added tabs across the top - "About Niffer," "About Ellie," "About Addie" and the really cool "Ask Niffer." Now you can ask me any question you want and I'll answer it. You may even spark a post topic or two. I just thought I'd let you know what you might be missing out on.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Niffer pumps 10 oz!!!

We're in the process of changing Addie's sleeping habits and as a result, I just pumped 10 oz of milk. How does that make Niffer feel?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day XXVI

Mommy: Ellie please stop licking Addie.
Ellie: But why?
Mommy: It's yucky.
Ellie: No, is ice-cream!


I usually consider myself someone who sleeps well. I'm often aware of what's going on around me but I can sleep through it anyway. I certainly wish I could say that was helping me now.

I wish I could just blame it all on the baby. That would be nice and simple and everyone would understand. But even though she hasn't been sleeping well (she woke every couple hours for over a month), she has been better the last few nights (waking once or twice between 6:30 pm and 6:00 am). So she's just as innocent as she looks.

During the month of her sleeping so poorly, we've been taking turns being sick. So, even if she's peacefully sleeping away, my husband (or I) will be peacefully snoring away. Not so peaceful for the remaining person in the bed.

If you can make it past that, Ellie also has been taking her turn being sick. She'll wake in the middle of the night with horrible coughing spells that just make me want to scream. Not fun for either of us.

Then there are the cats. Anyone who has had cats know that they love being awake at night. Anything from simply jumping on and off the bed, to chasing each other, to spazzing out like cats do, to hissing at the dog, to simply laying on my head and purring happily... these two fuzz balls are not free of guilt.

But don't forget the dog. Merlin sleeps downstairs by himself, mainly because the cats hate him, but often he's dreaming a big doggie dream that can only entail chasing herds of bunnies through lush green fields of grass. Let's just say he talks and kicks in his dreams. I'm glad he's not in the bed with us.

Then there is the train. Let's not forget the train. I will never understand why some nights the train can sneak by without me noticing it at all, while other nights it sounds like it's going to come right through my bedroom window. Is it the wind? UGH. Does the train REALLY need to sound it's horn at every intersection when it really knows deep down that no one is awake at that hour of the night. It's like running that stupid red light in the middle of nowhere because you KNOW that you're all alone on the road.

Finally, let's talk about Michael's smart phone. There is the occasional email from a coworker on the nights that he accidentally forgets to silence his phone. And no matter how much I try to telepathically plea with those Europeans, they keep insisting on working the hours that are most convenient to them, not me.

So, as you can see, I have more than my share of stuff keeping me awake. I do not need another one. But now there is this. The house thumps. You heard me. THE. HOUSE. THUMPS. We started noticing it almost a week ago and we've been stumped at what is causing the thumping. Was it the heater turning on? An animal in our walls? Our next door neighbor blasting his music? Last night we FINALLY figured it out. It's Baby Addie!

OMG, people! How is it possible for a little baby to kick the floor (she's been sleeping in the closet to keep from waking Ellie up) so loud that it can be heard throughout the house????

I guess this topic makes a full circle and the blame can once again be placed on Addie. Our solution is to put a pillow under her legs and hope to sleep tonight. LOL. Next?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Big Sister Quote of the Day XXV

On her way out the door to go to school, Ellie says, "Oh, I forgot to gif Add-a-line a giss!" She bends down to kiss Addie on the cheek. "I luv you!" she whispers.

Wordless Wednesday XXIX

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Because I said so

MJH wrote an interesting post defending parents using the term "Because I said so" to their children. I love it when MJH writes his thoughts on parenting. I find that I often gain a new perspective and often get new ideas on how to approach my own children. In all honesty, after reading the post I initially thought things like, "well that makes sense" or "I never thought of it like that before, but sure." However, as I thought about it more and more, I disagree with him more and more. Sorry, MJH. =)

Let me start off with saying that neither my husband nor I remember our parents using the term "Because I said so." I asked my sister, though, and she does. She said that our mom used to say that a lot, followed by "if I'm wrong I'll pay for counseling" when she was a teenager. My sister was more... let's say "rebellious" than I was. I only point that out because I feel like this is not a "I'm not going to be like my parents" reaction on my part.

I'm not going to approach the God-side of MJH's post. I don't want to open that can of worms (smile), but I did want to comment on my thoughts on the topic in general, because I do think it's an interesting one to discuss.

MJH essentially says that he uses "Because I said so" in situations where he feels like his children can not possibly understand the reasons or consequences for something. I agree with him that a young child (I'll obviously use my almost three year old daughter as my reference point) can not understand *ALL* the consequences of something like making Mommy or Daddy late for work. However, that does not mean they're incapable of understanding that their is a consequence for them not getting ready quickly.

If we were to bluntly end any discussion with Ellie with "Get your shoes on right now because I said so" then I'm sure we'd have a much more frustrated Ellie. Instead, we try to explain the consequences in a way that is relevant to her. "If you don't put your shoes on quickly then Mommy's not going to have time to read you books" or even "You're taking too long to get ready. It's taking away Mommy's energy, which means she won't be able to play blocks with you later." Those are consequences that she understands. Granted this requires a little more planning on our part. We have to get ready in time to allow us to read her one book at school before leaving. I think that's fair. She does something nice for us (which results in our lives being more enjoyable) which makes us want to do something nice for her (which results in her life being more enjoyable).

She may not understand all the consequences of making us late for work. She may not understand the effect that has on family vacations or the amount of time that Mommy has to stay at work. But she does understand that if she takes a long time getting ready then Mommy does not have the time or the energy to read her a book, or play games when she gets home.

There is definitely something to the stalling thing that MJH mentioned. Ellie constantly comes up with ways to stall, but we just try to come up with consistent consequences for that. Fewer books or no books. No energy to play Ellie's favorite game. Mommy doesn't have the energy to do bedtime so Daddy needs to instead. Things of that nature, but they're all consequences that Ellie understands because it effects those things she holds most dear. We know this works because there are days when Ellie wakes up and exclaims, "Hurry! Hurry! We want to read books, right Mommy?" Right.

MJH said that him not explaining himself to his children is similar to other relationships. One being his relationship with God (I've already said I'm not going to touch that one right now), but the other example he gave was with his boss at work. I disagree with his simplification of his relationships. His boss most likely never tells him "Do this because I said so," even if he may not understand all the reasons or consequences that his boss is aware of. Instead, his boss most likely simplifies the situation in terms that MJH can understand. Something more like "You need to do this in order for us to meet our goal. If you fail then the project will run out of money or time." Similarly, even though MJH does not bombard his boss with all the details of something that he understands better, it's doubtful he'd ever say "Sir, I'm doing it this way because I said so." Instead, he'll say something like "I need to take the time write the program like this because will be more user-friendly." That's something his boss would understand even if he does not know the details of the software MJH is responsible for.

Our relationships with our children are similar. I agree that they can not understand the big picture. They shouldn't have to. They're too busy being the little kids that they are. However, I feel like closing the topic with a "because I said so" sells the children short on what they *CAN* understand. I think that the assumption that a parent is all-knowing relative to the children is a faulty assumption. It never fails to amaze me how much Ellie really does understand. If I based all my conversations with her on what I assume a three year old understands, I would never be amazed. Not to mention, Ellie would probably be less enlightened and more annoyed.

I think the challenge as a parent, is not to simply not explain things but to put them in a context such that they can be understood. It's simply just too easy to sell your kids short on how much they're capable of understanding. It is our job as parents to put in every effort to explain things to our kids so that they can better understand, and thus interact with, the world around them.

As for the God side of the argument, I feel like comparing the relationship that God has with his people to the relationship between parents and children is unfair. God may very well know with absolute certainty what any individual can and can't understand, but we do not know anything with absolute certainty about what our kids can or cannot understand. Sorry. I tried to stay away from that, but I couldn't help it.

An introduction to snow plows

Ellie: Hey, Mommie, what's dat?
Mommy: It's a snow plow.
Ellie: Why is it a snow cow?
Mommy: Snow plows help move the snow off of the roads.
Ellie: But why?
Mommy: So that the roads are safer.
Ellie: So da cars don't get hurt?
Mommy: Exactly. Look, there's another snow plow.
Ellie: Anoder snow cow? Where?
Mommy: Right there, see the blinking lights?
Ellie: Oh. Is doing a really great job!
Mommy: It sure is.
Ellie: But not on dis road. Maybe later.
Mommy: Yeah, maybe later the snow plow will get to this road.
Ellie: But why?
Mommy: They do the big roads first and this road to your school is only a small one.
Ellie: No, Mommy! Dat's silly! Snow cows don't go to school!
Mommy: You're right.
Ellie: Dat would be funny!

Ellie: Mommy, where are da snow clouds?
Mommy: Snow plow?
Ellie: Yeah, where are they?
Mommy: They're not out today because there's no snow on the roads.
Ellie: Oh. But where do snow clouds live?
Mommy: Uh.... in a big garage with big tractors?
Ellie: Oh, big lellow tractors?
Mommy: Yep.
Ellie: And da snow cloud comes out when dere is snow on the ground?
Mommy: Yep.
Ellie: And da tractors stay asleep?
Mommy: Yep.
Ellie: Oh.

Ellie: Hey, Mommy! It snowed outside!
Mommy: It sure did!
Ellie: Let's see a snow cloud today!
Mommy: Ok, we'll look for one. Let me know you see one.
Ellie: Is in garage wif da tractors?
Mommy: I don't know.
Ellie: I don't like da tractors but snow clouds are my friend. They do a good job.
Mommy: Yes they do.
Ellie: But they don't go to school! That would be weird.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A tribute to Bun Bun (repost)

I'm republishing this because I came across a video of Bun Bun helping us teach Ellie how to crawl...

After taking this first picture, I thought all I wanted to do was find the first picture I have of Ellie with her beloved Bun Bun but then I got carried away in memories of everything Ellie has been through with Bun Bun by her side (or in her mouth). Here are some of my favorites:And of course, some videos... Bun Bun even helped us teach Ellie how to crawl and count!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Feeding Addie

We'll put "Baby's first solid food" on the list of differences between our first baby and second baby. With Ellie, we were all concerned about her fully swallowing each tiny bite before giving her the next one. With Addie... well let's just say Ellie had the spoon.Actually, they both did pretty well. Ellie was a fantastic big sister and did a good job of keeping the food in Addie's mouth. Addie, on the other hand, did a pretty good job of not choking.Addie gets double points for the fact that she is two months younger than Ellie was when she got her first solid food. Let's just say we're desperate to get some sleep.I loved how Addie kept looking at me for reassurance. It was like she was saying, "Do you see what Ellie is doing? Are you sure I should go along with this?" Sweet Addie goes along with just about everything.This last one is my favorite. Look at how excited Addie is to eat something with actual texture! And look at the absolute concentration on big sister Ellie's face. She was determined to do a good job of feeding her baby sister. I'm starting to get a feel for how much I'm going to enjoy watching my two girls interact with each other - there are going to be some great stories in the months to come!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

So Grown Up

Every now and then Ellie brings up a conversation all on her own that makes me realize how much she ages every day. This morning she asked me if I had a dream last night and whether or not it was scary. Then she told me that she had a dream about an alligator, but she was a nice alligator because she had buttons.

A week ago we were reading a book about Curious George going to the fire station. There is a page that shows about 10 children standing next to a table with five chairs. She said the following, "One, two, tree, four, five chairs. One for her, one for her, one for her, one for her and one for her." Subtle, I know, but do you see that she just counted WITHOUT specifically saying the numbers? She did it twice!

She grows more and more every day. As for me, I know what I want to be when I grow up. When I grow up, I want to be a little girl. They're lots of fun.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day (late, of course)

Do you remember the time when I had an irrational breakdown while pregnant with Ellie. If you're Dan reading this, I'm not talking about when I said that my trip to Paris was great even though I was crying. We had bought Christmas Cards that ended up being too Patriotic/Religious for our liking but the store wouldn't take them back? My whole world crashed around me, but we can all laugh about it now, right?

The other day I took Ellie to pick out Valentine's Day cards. The store we went to didn't have very many options but she liked the Veggie Tales a lot. Here's what we ended up with:Hmmm... Not my style. Luckily Daddy went to the store and got super sparkly Dora cards, so disaster was averted. And by disaster, I really just mean all the Mommies and Daddies of Ellie's friends thinking we are really religious. There are worse disasters out there, I realize... So to distract you from my petty story, here are some cute pictures:
ENOUGH PICTURES, MOMMY! They get the point!

Monday, February 15, 2010


A friend of mine recently experienced what ended up being a cute story about her incredibly out-going little girl. I'm sure she'd be interested to hear what your thoughts are on the situation. MJH I'm speaking to you, in particular, since you crossed my mind the moment I read her story. It just strikes me as a situation you'd have good input on. I would have emailed you to look, but it occurred to me that we still aren't even Facebook friends. LOL.

Melissa, you recently posted on a similar topic that also made me laugh. Maybe Sqpeggy should read your post too.

Hat Attack

If I understand my baby, which I will not claim to be perfect, whenever I put a hat on her head, she thinks something along these lines:

"What is this? Something is touching my head. Please get it off. It's not getting off. Oh my god, it's not coming off! I think it's stuck! What is it? Oh, please help me! Mommy! Mommy! Come quick! Where are you? I need your help! Something has attacked me! It has me! Can you see what it is? What is it?! I think it's sucking my brain out! Oh my god, that's it! That's what it's doing! My brain is being sucked away as I scream! What did I do to deserve this? Who are these mean brain-suckers and what do they want with me? Someone call 911! Someone call the National Guard! Someone call 9 News! Something has me and I'm not going down without a fight! You can take my brain but you can't take my soul!"

Being a certified Niffer, I have no idea how I ended up with two daughters who hate wearing hats. Maybe they were adopted.
Addie gives up.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The laws of pumping

Can anyone explain to me why if I pump 4 times (once every 2.5 hours) in a day, I can easily obtain 2 oz more milk than if I were to pump 5 times (once every 2 hours) in a day???

P.S. My apologies for needing to turn on the word recognition in order for you to post a comment. I have just been getting way too many spam comments lately.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Random Ellie quote of the Day

After taking off her clothes... "Here.. comes... Naked Girl!!!!"

Tid-Bits VIII

I love how Ellie thinks the soap suds in the bath water are "dinosaurs." She can even point out the heads and tails of each dinosaur and she reassures me that they're friendly dinosaurs so I shouldn't be afraid.

I love how Ellie has started to answer for Addie. Whenever we ask a question like "Addie are you ready to go to school?" Ellie speaks with her cute little squeaky voice and says "Yes I am!"

I think it's cute how Ellie gets the order of her because statements backwards.
"I'm sad because I'm crying."
"Daddy pulled my hair because I'm crying."
"My shoes are off because my feet are cold."
"Bun Bun is my special friend because I love her."

I love how sometimes when Ellie realizes she has made a mistake or could do something better, she'll ask to practice again. An example of this would be if we tell her that she's not being polite by interrupting Mommy when she speaks, she'll say "Ok, let's try again..." She's so proud of herself when she knows she has shown us that she can do it.

all da cows = avocados
please man = police man
min dents = minutes

I think the most adorable thing ever must be a toddler singing the song "On my own" from Les Miserables. No, wait... I take that back. The most adorable thing is listening to her sing the song with her Daddy. I need to try to get that one on video.

I love how Ellie needs to know what a song is about.
Ellie: What's dis song about Mommy?
Mommy: Uh... It's about how every rose has a thorn and every cowboy sings a sad song.
Ellie: Oh. He's sad?

I love how Ellie always wants things to turn out happy.
Ellie: What's dis song about Mommy?
Mommy: Uh... It's about a girl who is sad because her prince is gone and she misses him ("Without You" from Rent).
Ellie: But... But... But... her prince come back and she be happy, right Mommy?
Mommy: Right.
Ellie: Good.

I love how when Ellie is excited about something, she'll say "Hurry! Hurry!" and then start to breathe quickly, as though it's the breathing that gets makes the difference in how long it takes to accomplish something.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ellie takes the camera

Elie's first pictures with the camera...
Daddy on the phone:A self-portrait:One of Mommy:Mommy being silly:Mommy hiding like Ellie does:This is not my good side:I'm particularly proud of this one:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ellie likes the camera this much...

It has become more and more difficult to get pictures of Ellie. She hates the camera. You might not believe me because I do manage to get cute pictures of her, but I'm not ashamed to admit that I bribe her (usually with candy). After all, pictures are forever but cavities can be fixed. Who's with me on this one?

If I don't bribe her, our photo shoots often end up much like this:

Monday, February 08, 2010