Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Elliette - Month 9


Dear Grown up Daughter of mine,

Today you turned 9 months old – which is actually 40 weeks, which is exactly how long it took to make you in my belly. And by exactly, I really mean exactly since you were born on your due date! It’s hard for me to look back anymore at the baby you were because we are SO CLOSE to hitting that 1 year mark and 1 year olds are NOT babies! I guess I was sort of in denial that my baby was growing up and getting bigger and older. I know I talked about it – but really, I was secretly denying it. Soon, I won’t be able to call you a baby – I will have to call you a TODDLER. And --WHOA - one thing at a time here. I am not ready to go there yet…

This month was unlike any of the other months in that you have definitely become more vocal about what you like and what you don’t. If you want something – you want it NOW. I also think that with all of your new physical accomplishments, you are going through a lot emotionally. So I can’t believe I am going to say this – but you have been a bit…. crabby…. I know I know! It’s hard for me to write that because it’s just so not like you! You need to be entertained, and your attention span is like 15 seconds so after like an hour and having tried 8 different things to make you happy – I end up feeling a little frustrated. I think your lack of mobility was making you mad too. And you really depended on us to make you happy. That was – until you started CRAWLING!!

That’s right my love! You are officially a crawler as of Dec. 4th. One night you could not – and the next there you were, getting your arms and legs to work together! You took your time and were very tentative about where you went and how far you would go. Now however, you are a MANIAC! It’s like you have finally been able to release ALL THIS ENERGY! And that is what was making you a little crabby. Now – the crabby baby has been replaced with dare devil not afraid of ANYTHING.

You have been loving your activity table and Jungle Center because you can stand up at them and play. You are totally professional at pulling yourself up on things – and by things I mean ANYTHING. Couches, chairs, drawers, highchairs, boxes, shelves, and you even tried to pull yourself up on Lena. She didn’t take to that very well and you haven’t tried that one again. But honestly, overnight you have physically developed into a very agile little lady. You are totally cruising all over the couches and when you are standing at the Jungle, you go back and fourth and sometimes even cross over to a piece of furniture. I am not sure if you will be crawling for much longer with all this standing and cruising. I am so not ready for that yet. Your butt looks too cute when you are crawling around that I want you to crawl forever!

No new teeth to report, but you have been doing a lot of drooling lately, so it may be soon! You have been getting better at using the 2 teeth you have lately. I have tried a few more finger foods and you are finally starting to be able to get them into your mouth with out your gag reflex sending it right back at me. I picked up a few jars of stage-3 baby food that has some chunks in it and you HATE it! I was sort of excited about this for some reason, because it actually looks like real food instead of…. what the other stuff looks like. You tried the Spaghetti with Cheese and the noodles were too much. And the Chicken and Stars were like the worse thing you have ever had to put in your mouth apparently. You cried the whole way though dinner, and by the end you refused to open your mouth, but you were still crying – and I am sure you can imagine – THAT was hilarious….

We took your 3rd trip to South Dakota –but this time it was just you and I. I was super nervous about driving 4 hours with you ALONE, but you did great. We had the new car seat and I think it was a little harder for you to fall asleep, but once you did – it was lights out for 2 hours every time. I stopped once in Blue Earth to feed you and then you went right back to sleep again. Such a perfect little angel. For Christmas we are buying you a portable DVD player so that these car rides will be a breeze as you get older. I am thinking you may have to open that gift BEFORE we leave for South Dakota!

Speaking of Christmas, this year is going to be so fantastic! I can’t wait to spend your very first Christmas with all of our loving families. I have been working very hard to get our house ready for this holiday since I kinda flaked on Halloween. We have lights outside around the house – which is a first! We have a beautiful tree complete with new ornaments for you. We have a cute little baby tree in your room. We have garland and mistletoe and all sorts of other things that scream Christmas. I have also decided to make an Advent Calendar so we can have a new tradition like one that your Daddy used to have as a kid. I hope you like it next year! I can’t wait to see how you open your presents and how you take in all of the festivities. This holiday is what having a family is all about!

You are definitely starting to mimic us and it is absolutely adorable. On your activity table there is a bowl and a spoon and you love to “feed” us. It usually ends with a fierce spoon thrust to the mouth – but hey – you are learning! You have sort of stopped waving bye-bye, but you have started to shake your head “No No No” again. I think that it’s because you hear us say it A LOT more these days. I have tried really hard to make sure you understand what “NO” means. You definitely look at me and wait to continue doing what you were doing – but it still is a little unclear what that means to you. I think this may be something that we will struggle with until you leave the house though – so I am not too worried. The funniest part is when we ask you stuff and you shake you head as if you are answering. Like the other day, you Daddy asked you if you wanted to play with a toy and you shook your head like you knew what was going on. We have fun with that one right now!

The Highlights of Month Nine:

- You celebrated your first Thanksgiving, but you slept the whole way through dinner! It was a special Thanksgiving this year because your Namba and Uncle Mik came up and we celebrated with Daddy’s family too! So you had almost ALL of your family together!
- You had your first baby sitter this month! December has been a month of parties, so when your Grandma’s are not available, we needed to find a backup. I was lucky to find a girl that I work with who loves babies to come and hang out! She said you were an angel and she would be glad to come back and do it again. THANK YOU BABY GIRL!
- Your babbling is much more intentional these days. You are saying “da da da” very well along with “ma ma” and “ba ba”, but it seems like you are trying to form different words, which is awesome! I can’t wait to hear what comes out next. I swear the other day you were saying “dog” – but we will have to wait and see if it was just a fluke!
- The most amazing thing happened. Much to your father's dismay, you have started to make the scrunchy nose face that I used to make as a baby! It's pretty cute if you ask me - but that is just because FINALLY there is proof that you are mine!
- You have been eating awesome these days which I am sure has to do with all the energy you are using up during the day crawling. I am really loving the chance to give you new stuff and to see your adorable face while you try it.
- You also have totally changed your bedtime from 8:30 to 7:30, which again I think has to do with all the crawling! It sure takes a lot out of a little thing!
- You have finally started to hold your own bottle. I guess you really just like to be catered to because it took you 9 months to get on board with this. But now - I think you sort of like being the boss of it!
- You have grown very attached to your pink blanket and your bunny and the minute we give it to you – your thumb goes in your mouth, you pull it up by your thumb and you immediately fall over on top of it like you are going to fall asleep instantly. You of course pop right back up because you do not fall asleep just anywhere – but it’s so cute to see how much you are comforted by them.
- Speaking of falling asleep – you are now officially the best napper on the planet. I lay you down in your crib when I notice you are getting tired. I give you the blanket, the bunny and the nukkie and BOOM – you are out in 5 minutes. No crying, no fighting it – just sleep. And usually we can get a 2-hour nap out of you. Sometimes even 2 2-hour naps!
- Your favorite toys are things that are NOT baby toys. I thought I was being super smart and I bought you a bunch of cheap cooking utensils and for about 3 days – you thought they were AMAZING. But then – they just basically became baby toys and now they are not fun. You still really love the standing toys, but really your fun comes from finding things to get into. What can I say – you are definitely a curious baby!

Current Nicknames:

- Belly (of course)
- Belgian or Belgian Waffle
- Bell
- Muncher, Munchy, Munchy Munchy Butt Cakes, Sugar Butt Munch (seriously the most used one right now at the house)
- Miss, Little Miss, Missy or Missy May
- Baby Girl

As wonderful as this month has been, it also was a very sad month because some very close friends of ours had a tiny little baby girl named Maggie that didn’t get to live very long. Only 9 days actually. It was very hard as parents to see people you care so much about have to go through something that horrible. When you have a baby, they are your life. They become everything you think about and to loose that after such a short time was really hard for your Daddy and I to understand why things like this happen. We feel so incredibly lucky to have you everyday and after something like this happens – we are reminded that nothing is forever. There is no sure thing. Life is precious and we intend to live our lives with you as such. No matter how many days we get with you – we want to live everyone one of them like it’s the last… I love you my wonderful baby girl. And I love being able to spend everyday I can with you by my side…


Friday, November 14, 2008

Elliette - Month 8

Dear Baby Girl,

Today you turned 8 months old and it’s hard for me to believe that it’s only been a month since the last letter I wrote you. You have changed so much in the last 30 days that it seems like 3 months ago that I was writing about you rambling, and standing and attempting to say Momma…. You are different this month. You are growing up. You are becoming a little person and you are SO much more aware of the world. And because of this, my life has totally changed too.

I now constantly need to keep on eye on you because you are becoming adventurous and curious and you want to test your limits on everything. It’s so amazing to see you want to interact with everything. No matter what it is – my hairbrush, the mail, the dog toys, the carpet, or the plastic cap on my water bottle – ANYTHING and everything is awesome to you. When I give you things to look at, you examine it so very carefully and once you have figured it out – it’s on to the next thing. It’s tougher now to keep you entertained, but it also gives me the opportunity to interact with you on a much deeper level.

Sometimes you look right into my eyes and I get totally overwhelmed by how real you have become. You are thinking things now, and you are figuring things out. It’s a little scary too because now, my actions will be affecting you more. You watch me and I can tell you want to imitate me. Your Daddy and I have been able to go about our lives without really worrying about you knowing what we are doing or talking about. So now – seeing how you take everything in, it definitely makes me more aware of myself. So from now on, swearing is OFF limits, yelling at the dogs needs to stop, and watching inappropriate TV like True Blood and Dexter will have to wait until you are in bed.

So not only have you become more aware of what goes on around you, you have become more aware of how you can maneuver your little body! You are still not officially crawling, but you are doing everything BUT! You get yourself up on all 4’s and rock back and fourth. You attempt to move forward but you usually fall on your tummy. You have figured out how to get back up on all 4’s though and you can even get yourself back into a sitting position when you are lying down. If there is anything you can get a grip on, you will attempt to pull yourself up. Your face when you are focused on getting up is HILARIOUS! It’s very serious – and although you have only managed to get to a standing position twice that I have seen, you do NOT quit! I admire your go-getter attitude! When you are standing up at a toy or the couch, I can tell you feel like you are doing a pretty cool thing, and you can stand there and play for like 20 minutes! I do have to be ready to catch you at anytime though, because if you fall – you SCREAM! I know it doesn’t really hurt, but I think you just like to milk it!

This month was a big one for firsts – including your first TOOTH! Or, should I say teeth! You have 2 cute little chompers on the bottom of your tiny mouth and when you smile now, it’s SO FUNNY to see them in there! You look so much more grown up with teeth! It was a little hard on me when you got the first one… It was like I realized you would never be a gummy toothless grinner again. You will only get more. And that equals big kid… Which of course is always a little bittersweet for me. Your first one came 1 day after you turned 7 months. And the second one came last week. You were pretty easy to deal with aside from a couple of restless nights of pain. I can only imagine that it hurts terribly and I feel just sad when I know you are in pain.

You have also starting to do some cute little baby tricks. I do realize that you are NOT a puppy, but it’s sort of the same process getting you to do something new and cute. It started with you shaking your head “no no no” back and fourth. You had done this a couple months back – and then you stopped. But now, you totally do it back to us and it’s very deliberate. Then we got you to give us 5 – which is a little touch and go now. For a few days you were totally getting it, but now I think you may be over it because we can’t get you to do it very often. You also have started to clap whenever we sing this song -“Clap Clap Clap. Clap Clap Clap. Clap Clap Clap your hannies” and you are SO cute trying to make a noise with your tiny little hands. But the kicker Little Miss, is your latest trick, which is waving “Bye Bye”. You did it for the first time when we dropped you off with your Papa and Wawa. Your Daddy and I were leaving and you just starting waving! We thought it was a fluke - but now, I say “Bye Bye” Elliette and you wave your hand like a Beauty Pageant Contestant! You even try to say “Bye Bye” when you do it! I even have proof! Probably the cutest thing any child in the entire world has ever done. You are the best!

While we are teaching you these “tricks” we give you a TON of praise, which is TOTALLY throwing Lena off. She assumes that any loud “Yayyyyy!!! Good job Elliette!! Whaooooo!!” is all about her and she tries to get all up in the mix. There have been a few close calls with her wild paws and excitability, but eventually I am sure she will learn that YOU are center of the universe in our house – NOT her! You however, LOVE that dog – much to my chagrin. Before you came, I was very worried about her being resentful towards you, but really she just wants to make sure you are okay. You two are going to be good buddies I think. She makes you laugh like NOTHING else! Sometimes you just sit on the floor and watch her play with her toys and for some reason, you think it’s the funniest thing that has ever happened in your life. It’s totally hilarious listening to that belly laugh. I am very glad that you like animals, because your Daddy and I both do too!

Remember last month when I told you about the Nukkies and how I went all over Minneapolis looking for as many as I could find – only to have you decide that you didn’t need them? Well that was short lived! You now LOVE the nukkie again and for a few weeks there, I couldn’t get you to take it out of your mouth! You learned how to put it in yourself and for some reason, that freedom made you LOVE having control over that thing! So, in the end I am very glad that I found all those nukkies for you because if it makes you happy Sweets – I would have driven to the North Pole to get you more!

The Highlights of Month Eight:

- We attempted to take you to your SECOND rock show at the Electric Fetus, but the band Broken Social Scene was a no-show. It was still a cool thing to be able to take you into one of our favorite stores, but BSS would have been much cooler…
- I tried to give you chunks of bananas and kiwi, but you gagged on them so I decided that wasn’t the best idea. You are so good at eating those puffs I thought you might want to try something new! Apparently, the texture was too much for you… I didn’t actually eat bananas until I was in college because the texture freaked me out too…
- We have officially moved you into the next stage of car seats and now you are sitting in a big kid seat that stays in the car. You are still not sure what to think about it. You like being up higher and being able to see things, but when it’s dark out and you are in the seat, you tend to scream. And that SUCKS! I actually put battery operated Christmas lights all over the ceiling above it in order to give you a little glow and to distract you. Hopefully that will help!
- You were in your first Wedding this month for your Auntie Greta and Uncle Tom. You and your cousin Eli were the cutest, most adorable Flower babies anyone has ever seen. You should have heard the “oooohhhss” and “ahhhhsss” that came over the crowd when we walked you guys down the aisle. You got to meet a bunch of Daddy’s family that still had not even met you yet so that was nice.
- You are still sleeping AWESOME and I can’t tell you how thankful I am for that. On the weekends your Daddy and I try as hard as we can to get you to sleep in with us. If we are lucky we can get you to sleep in until 10am – which is pretty amazing. Maybe if we keep doing this, you will become a lover of sleeping in like your Daddy and I…
- You are really starting to figure out how to manipulate your little voice – and SCREEEEEECHING has become one of your more favorite ways to express your self. I still love it, but I am sure that will pass and I will want to put a muzzle on you eventually. Until then – keep screeching sister!
- You are totally growing and are getting reaaallllly long! I remember looking at 6-12 month outfits in your closet and thinking – “When she fits into this it will be SO WEIRD! It’s SO BIG!” I just couldn’t imagine you bigger than my little munchy newborn. But now, here you are wearing them all and they fit perfectly! And good god child, you are adorable.
- Toys you cannot get enough of: the squeaky doggy, your new Jungle Activity station, your tiny duckies, the little pink bunny (that has been lost at Target and I intend on getting you a new one before you notice) and pretty much ANYTHING that is in my hands, on the table or in the dogs mouth.

Current Nicknames:

- Belly (of course)
- Belgian or Belgian Waffle
- Bell
- Elly Belly (or Elly Bell – they actually all call you Baby Ellie at Daycare)
- Bear (or Belly Bear)
- Muncher, Munchy, Munchy Munchy Butt Cakes, Sugar Butt Munch (SORRY!)
- Miss, Little Miss, Missy or Missy May (this one is a BIG one for me this month)
- Baby Girl
- Sweets
- Shougs (like short for Sugar)

I think to myself every month as I write you these letters how incredibly blessed and fortunate I am to get to be your Mommy. And I will get to be your Mommy for the rest of my life. How did I get so lucky? How did I get the best baby there has ever been to be MY baby? Being a Mommy to such an amazing little girl is really, truly, the best thing I have ever done. Someday when I am your “Mom” and not your “Mommy”, I will remember how you changed my life and no matter what – YOU will always be my baby. I love you so much baby girl!


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All things Minnesotan..

So yesterday, I was driving home from picking up Elliette at Daycare and what do I see, but a DEAD DEER strapped to the roof of a car. Now, I understand that hunting season just started and that this IS Minnesota, but I am pretty sure I was in ST. PAUL and not in Hugo. Honestly, is that even legal? To have dead carcasses of animals just ON YOUR CAR?

I grew up in South Dakota and believe me, I was not sheltered from this sort of thing by any means. BUT - it was a part of my childhood I would rather forget. Seeing that deer yesterday brought up a few memories that I thought I would share. I remember when Pheasant Season would start and my Dad would come home with his buddies all stinky and dirty. I just knew that whenever he came home, it meant that there was going to be bloody dead stuff all over the garage which totally freaked me out. And of course, I would always forget and accidentally walk into the garage and see bird feathers and beaks and blood and it would send me into a tailspin of crying and wanting to know "WHY!?".

He also would take the meat from these birds and soak them in a bowl of water in the fridge until he ate it. This meant that I was unable to open the fridge for any reason until they were gone. If there was absolutely no one around to get whatever I needed out of the fridge then I would close my eyes and grab whatever I needed as fast as I could - and I usually screamed the whole time. I don't know why that meat scared me so much, because it's pretty much just like chicken only darker. I think it was because I saw them whole with feathers and I knew that my Dad turned actual birds into meat. It was freaky!!

What's freakier? Is that for some ungodly reason, I was able to take the legs of these birds, pull on the main tendon and make them open and close. WHY on earth was I able to do that - but I couldn't even LOOK at the meat??!!? I am insane I guess. So insane that I actually took two Pheasant legs to show in tell in 4th grade. And everyone thought I was gross.

SO - Let the Hunting begin!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

1...2.....3.... WEDDING!

SO - tonight marks the beginning of a weekend filled with wedding extravaganza for Josh's Little Sister Gretchen. She is getting married on Saturday, which hopefully will be one of the last beautiful days left in this year - FINGERS CROSSED! My Mom is also coming in to town, to help watch Elliette so we have a lot to do. I have been trying to get all my laundry done this week and all of the little cleaning things. Last night I had to remove the wax from my stovetop after a candle fell off the back and sprayed hot wax EVERYWHERE the other day. Yes, that's right. I said the OTHER day and I just cleaned it last night. For those that don't know my cleaning habits - my house is generally CLEAN and at the very least, always picked up. I can't really relax until I don't see clutter or things out of place. I have such a need for clean that I have given up having a cool wardrobe, dinners out and whatever else I need to sacrifice in order to have my cleaning lady come every 2 weeks. It's like better than ANY of those things to me. And totally the only way Josh and I can live in a house together. So - to leave the stove for 3 days with wax all over it was TORTURE. I would purposely walk by it with my eyes averted and refuse to cook in order to avoid it. But last night - it stared me down while I was putting groceries away and taunted me until I gave in and cleaned it - which took 45 minutes. DONE. THANK GOD.

So tonight the wedding blow out begins with a dinner with all the girls at Molly's, rehearsal dinner on Friday and the Wedding on Saturday - with an open bar at the reception - PARTY! And then brunch on Sunday. I may just need a weekend for my weekend!

This wedding stuff isn't ALL bad - on Friday I will be getting a complimentary manicure and pedicure, and honestly the last time I had one of those, I was whoring it up at the bar every night spending my paycheck on highlights and raspberry kamikaze's.... Ahhhhh the good ol' days..... I also had an excuse to buy a new dress to fit my "new" body (Damn you Elliette!) But on the other hand - I had to buy a new dress... Which means I had to go to the store and TRY STUFF ON - which I HATE! I think I actually tried on 36 dresses before I found one. Now, if I could only find a place to wear it other than this wedding, I could justify the price tag! Maybe while cleaning the tub????

Friday, October 17, 2008

Let the biting begin...

ELLIETTE HAS A TOOTH! Or what will become a full on tooth! I was hoping she would skip the whole teething thing all together, but here we are 1 tooth deep!! Everything makes sense now as far as her crazy screaming night on Saturday and the excessive drooling all day Sunday. I discovered it while feeding her the nighttime bottle on Tuesday. She started screaming out of nowhere and just for fun, I felt her gums... It seems like the worst is over and we will be able to see it soon. It is SHARP! I am so glad that I am done nursing, because if that accidentally bit down on a nip??!!! OH MA GOD.

It's the bottom right and so far it's the only one I can see... She is VERY protective of her mouth - so I can't pry open her mouth for longer than 3 seconds. So obviously I don't have a picture of the actual spot. But thats not for lack of trying! Here is my attempt... and without knowing what the bottom one is a photo of - it could pass as porn.

This is bittersweet for me. I am glad she has teeth, because dentures at 3? NOT COOL. But this all just means more big kid stuff is happening for her! What next? Am I going to have to buy her a training bra?!!???

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Elliette - Month 7


Dear Baby Girl,

Well here you are just trucking along… Everyday seeming less and less like the baby you were and more like the big kid you are becoming... You used to lie in my arms and look up at me, but now you want to stand up on my lap and pull my hair. You used to coo and need help being engaged, but now you sit on the floor screeching and playing by yourself for hours. It’s really amazing how in seven months, you have completely become a new kid. A kid I have grown rather fond of and can’t wait to see what milestone you hit next!

You are still not interested in crawling and therefore have not tried to figure it out. We have tried to peak your interest with your favorite toys, your favorite non-toys like phones and remotes, us and even the dogs, but really you just don’t want any of those things enough to care. I think it’s getting closer for you, because we have noticed you pushing your butt up in the air, but you get frustrated so quickly that you haven’t figured out what you are doing. I try not to care, because all babies hit milestones at different times, but I have noticed myself really wanting you to crawl lately so that you are on track. I know you will in your own time – and who knows – you may skip crawling altogether and just walk!

You have starting to stand REALLY well and I have caught you a couple of times standing almost on your own! I can put you up to a table and you stand there banging the top like it’s no big deal. You love to feel like a big kid. Next thing I know you are going to be cruising along the sides!

Your talking is getting even closer to sounding like real words daily! You have started to say “Momomomommom” VERY distinctly whenever you are sad or crying. It is absolutely adorable, and it makes my heart flutter a little bit. I am sure you have no idea that it means me, but you somehow have associated it with needing to be picked up and THAT’S pretty amazing!

Speaking of your ramblings, you have discovered a new way to manipulate your voice when you are on your changing table. You have started whispering little noises at us. “shashansbabababa” all at a whisper soft level and it’s ADORABLE. Your Daddy is especially fond of this and he melts in a puddle the minute you start.

We brought you to South Dakota again this month to visit all your family there. You were once again a wonderfully well-behaved little girl and everyone wanted to steal you from us. Your Namba threw a party and your Auntie Jenese got to feed you. The driving part was not quite as easy as the first time we took you there, but you did really well. The last hour or so was a little tough and we were throwing toys at you left and right hoping something looked cool enough to occupy you. We all made it home in one piece and that’s what matters!

There is no mistaking the fact that you like to suck. You LOVED the pinky when you were tiny, and once we found the perfect nuk, you loved that as well. Recently, I found out that your nuks had been changed and they stopped making the version you preferred so I kinda freaked out. I called every baby place in town and managed to find 14 packs of your nuks to keep you happy until the nukky fairy comes and takes them away from you. I spent a ridiculous amount of time finding all those nuks, and of course it would just so happen that about 3 days later, you became an avid thumb sucker. Ha! You still do like the nuk when you are falling asleep, but 9 times out of 10 when I go to check on you in your crib, your thumb is in your mouth and the nuk is nowhere to be found… Oh well, maybe I can sell those nuks on ebay!

Speaking of your thumb, you are on a constant mission to take whatever toy you are holding and try to get it and your thumb in your mouth at the same time. It started with soft toys, because I think you associated the softness with a comfort, and that is what made you want to try and suck you thumb – which you also do for comfort. But now, it’s turned into a funny game. The other night in the bathtub, you were trying to get these little rubber ducks in your mouth along with your thumb and it was absolutely hilarious! Sometimes, you will also be sucking on a bottle and think you need to throw your thumb in just because. Also when I feed you baby food, you try and suck that thumb after every bite. I am not sure if it’s because you are used to sucking to get your food and having your thumb in your mouth makes it easier to swallow – or if you just like suck your thumb! All I know is that it makes me CRAZY because it’s hard to get you to take a bite when you have a thumb in your mouth. It also makes a giant mess and I always try to keep you as clean as I can…

The Highlights of Month Seven:

- Bathtime is still fun for you, but only up until its time to clean you. You have started to HATE having water on your face, which I figured was going to happen at some point. You also do NOT like being interrupted from sucking on your tiny duckies!
- You got another cold this month, which resulted in a fever – only a slight fever, but still it was your first one! No ear infection or anything, but it is taking you a long time to get rid of it!
- You are still an amazing sleeper and sleep all night. There are those few times here and there that you wake up – but it is always related to you needing something – like needing to burp, your head is stuck under the mobile, or it was too dark in your room when you woke up. A few days ago, you woke up and freaked out for a few hours in the middle of the night. I could tell you were in pain, but nothing I did seemed to help. I love you more than anything in the world, but at 3 in the morning when you scream like that – I almost forget that…. Although when you woke up the next morning smiling, it pretty much washed all the bad feelings away. All except for the exhaustion!
- You love going to restaurants because you get to sit like a big kid at the table and eat puffs. It’s so cute to see you figure those things out. You LOVE them- especially now since you have mastered getting them into your mouth!
- I have taught you to blubblubblub your lips by putting a finger on them and pulling your bottom lip down. You started by letting me do the finger part and you just made the noise, but now you have mastered it on your own, only you use your entire hand! Your Daddy hates that I have taught you that, but I think it’s adorable and you are SO SMART to be able to learn things that I teach you! I can’t wait to teach you all sorts of stuff!
- Your favorite toys right now: the activity table you stand at, your tiny duckies in the bath, anything that you can shake and it makes a sound and of course your pink elephant.
- You are finally coming around on the food stuff and you will eat food with chicken in it. I still can’t get you to eat anything green, but somehow Daycare can so I know you will eat it. It also seems like you will try different flavors now and actually give them a chance. So far, your favorites are still Sweet Potatoes and any fruit I put in your mouth.
- You are definitely getting bigger as you are starting to outgrow all those new 3-6 month clothes that I bought you. It seems like you are growing faster than before because you have not been in this size very long. You still do wear mostly 3-6 month stuff, but I can tell it won’t be long!

Current Nicknames:

- Belly (of course)
- Belgian or Belgian Waffle
- Bell
- Elly Belly (or Elly Bell – they actually all call you Baby Ellie at Daycare)
- Bear (or Belly Bear)
- Gummy Bear (Because of your adorable gummy smile)
- Muncher (again, Butt Muncher…. Sorry)
- Missy or Missy May
- Baby Girl
- Pumps (as in Pumpkin)
- Sugar

My muchkin muncher butt cakes, I love you SO MUCH. It’s really amazing how much you have developed and changed in 7 short months. You make every single day joyful and happy for your Daddy and I. We feel like you have brought a light into our lives that we didn’t know existed. Everyday when I get off of work, I rush as fast as I can to pick you up from Daycare because every minute away from you I feel a little less whole. It’s hard to imagine 7 months ago what life was like before you came, because really it seems like life didn’t even start for me until I had you. I am just so grateful that I have you now to show me what it means to be alive. You are my inspiration and I love you more every single day…


Monday, October 06, 2008

This is NOT a post about Elliette!

So last week I went to dinner with some lady friends and my blog came up and the fact that it has sort of.... well stopped. Unless I am writing an update for Elliette which is not what this blog was about in the beginning... SO - I have decided to make an effort to keep it fresh! Keep it real yo! There is much more to me than being Elliette's mommy! Wait - I wasn't going to talk about Elliette....

Anyway - the world on the outside of mommy-hood is still not quite as exciting as staying at home with my Munchkin, so I really don't have a lot of stuff to talk about. I have enjoyed a few nights out here and there, but really, I prefer to do the bedtime stuff with my baby so I hate to miss out. I know that "partyin" isn't the only way to enjoy the world, but that is my struggle. I need to engage myself with stuff that I find fun and interesting, but not take away from the fact that I feel the need to be with my daughter anytime I am not at work. Maybe it's because I feel guilty having Elliette spend like 50 hours a week with someone other than me while I only spend about 18 hours a week with her. It's really hard to live with that fact sometimes... I know she is a baby and will not hold any of this against me, but I guess I wish I could have more time with her than some person I pay...I am thinking that she will eventually not be such a good baby and I won't miss her so much.... Maybe? But probably not...

I have been pretty busy with the voiceovers lately, which is a welcome surprise. I love walking into a session, working for 20 minutes and then walking out a couple hundred dollars richer. It's like the BEST job ever. If only I could do it a ton more and quit my real job! Oh well.. for now it sure helps with the INSANE amount of money we pay for daycare... Seriously!

I also have been on the political train like just about everyone else who is tired of the world. I have been paying close attention to all the debates and have been trying to convince anyone I know that is undecided what they should do in order to make the world a better place for Elliette and all the other kids out there. I will say that it is CRAZY the amount of people out there that are still convinced that the republicans can be elected and things will change. A lot of my family is still cloudy with party loyalty and race issues that I can't quite believe it. I really have tried to inform and educate the ignorant people in my life about what they can do to make the world better. One guy I know said that he doesn't care about it at all - he just wants to go to work and come home and not deal with the election. And that he will probably vote for McCain because he doesn't want a black guy in office. Truly truly truly scary. That he doesn't care enough to know the issues - he only cares enough about the color of someone's skin. I can only imagine there are like a million more of that guy out there...

Tonight on my way home I am going to count the signs in people's yards. I am feeling very confidant that Obama signs are everywhere, but I want to know how many. I live in a predominately white liberal district so I know that there will be more Obama signs than McCain, but I want to really feel it. To give me back some hope!

To anyone who may read this and be offended by my very strong political view, I am sorry. But not sorry that I feel this way, just sorry that you don't understand why. I hope your political view goes deeper than the color of someone's skin or because you can't imagine voting against what you have always stood for. If you have issues and reasons beyond this, then I will respect you and your stance, but ignorance cannot be tolerated. Do the right thing and research the topics and know why and what you believe in. If you don't do it for yourself, do it for Elliette who is going to have to pick up all the messes we leave behind...

I didn't really intend on this post having anything to do with Elliette or politics but hey - that's what a blog is right? What ever comes to mind!I also want to extend the challenge to you all - count the signs! I wanna know what people out there are seeing....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Elliette - Month 6


Dear Baby Girl,

Wow. 6 whole months on the outside. THIS is a major accomplishment. Not only for you but also for your Daddy and I as parents. We have officially kept you alive and healthy and happy for an entire half of a year! Not that it is very hard, since you truly are a perfect baby girl. But it really is a major milestone to hit and from here on out, everyone tells me that things go very fast!

You have basically gone from a baby to a genuine big kid! Among the list many new things you have tried, you have added sitting up like a professional to the very top! It’s so exciting to see you sit there, with no help for a length of time that is determined only by your attention span. You hardly ever fall over, and if you do it’s because you are holding your little soft baby and I swear to god – you rock her back and fourth and sometimes you rock too far and fall over. As sad as you sound when you fall, you could NOT be any cuter cuddling that baby!

Speaking of cuddling, you have really started to squeeze back and cuddle and for a Mom, THAT is the stuff I live for. I have spent the last 15 months taking care of you – 9 of those months while you were still inside of me, but to finally have those moments of love that you give back to me are truly awesome. Having my baby girl reach out and want to hug me around the neck is one of the greatest feelings in the world. You like me! You really do!

I am constantly reminded of how lucky your Daddy and I are to have such an amazing baby girl. You never cry really and if you do, we can run down the list of stuff – hungry, tired, diaper, or bored and it will work 90% of the time. And for the 10% it doesn’t, it’s usually related to you not feeling well, or because you are trying to re-adjust from a schedule change somehow. I hope that this is your temperament forever, because I think about how much fun you are going to be when you are able to walk and explore. And because of how easy going you are we are going to be able to do everything! I can’t wait!

We went camping again and this time it wasn’t as easy on you as it was the first time. Immediately upon arriving to the campsite, you broke out in a rash due to the heat and it really didn’t go away until we got back home. It was pretty hot and because you weren’t sitting up great yet, we had to hold you and that caused a lot of sweaty uncomfortable-ness. You also were waking up a little earlier and we couldn’t get you to fall asleep again like at home. Now that I type these things, you really weren’t too hard to deal with; it’s just that when you are not “perfect” we notice! You tried swimming in a lake for the first time, but you really didn’t think it was too cool. You cried until you got used to the temperature and then you just kind of hung out and didn’t really enjoy it. Next year is your lake year babe!

Your chatter lately has turned into full on conversations. You are constantly in a state of mumbles and bababababa’s and dadadadada’s and mommamamama’s. It’s awesome to hear your tiny little voice. Every once in a while, we think we hear you say something that you clearly have no idea what you are saying like – “ouch” or “why” or the other day when your Dad heard you clearly say “Obama” and he couldn’t have been more proud! You also have quite a screech that you pull out usually in public, which we totally encourage because it is so flippin’ cute!

You have not shown any signs of crawling or scooting yet, but I think that is because you are too busy sitting up right now to care. Your Doctor told us that some babies do not ever crawl – but they learn to scoot right there in the sitting up position! We will see what you end up doing. The thought of you crawling is both exciting and completely frightening. We definitely need to baby proof the house and it’s very nice to be able to leave you sitting somewhere and know you will remain there until I get back. But watching you learn a new skill is so addicting to us that once you figure out how to crawl– we may explode with pride!

Your eating is officially big kid now too. You are a pro solid food eater and are LOVING it! You even eat cereal, fruits and veggies at Daycare. That was a big step for your Daddy and I when we heard you were sitting up at the baby bar eating with all the other big kids. When we get home from Daycare I get to feed you your Dinner and I absolutely love to see you try new stuff. Your faces are HILARIOUS! So far you LOVE sweet potatoes, pears, bananas and oatmeal. But I cannot get you to like peas or anything with a chicken flavor to it. You literally gag when I feed it to you. I laugh every time, but it would not be so funny if that gag turned into a full on puke…

The Highlights of Month Six:

- Since you are sitting up so well now –we have put you in highchairs at restaurants and carts at stores. It’s so cute to see you sitting up checking everything out. We can definitely tell you are proud of yourself while you sit there.
- You LOVE these little Gerber puffs that melt in your mouth. It’s the best distraction ever. I am willing to bet I could keep you occupied with these things for an entire 24-hour period of time as long as I kept them coming. You only get about 1/3 of them in your mouth, but that’s not for lack of trying! You can’t quite figure out how to get them from your hands into your mouth. They usually end up getting stuck on the inside of your palm and you suck on your fist until it basically disintegrates. Every once in a while a whole one gets through and your face is AWESOME while you attempt to “chew” it.
- Bath time is now taking place in the big tub. We were having trouble in the sink with you slipping around so we got a mini tub to put in the big tub. You get so excited when I pour water on your head that you loose your balance and fall over. I have now started to put a towel on the bottom of the mini tub and that works awesome. You love your bath and even more so since bath toys are becoming totally fun for you.
- You are totally into all toys now and our diaper bag has turned into a suitcase full of noisy goofy distractions. I barely have room for diapers! Your favorites right now are the Hedgehog Teether, the fake remote that says “GOAL!!”, and a pink elephant that your Great Aunt Jenese bought you that plays a lullaby.
- At night you are sleeping awesome, but you have turned into quite a mover! I put you down at 9:00pm and by Midnight when I go to bed – you have somehow completed changed positions. You could have rotated 180 degrees, you could be sideways, or you could be butted up with you head in the corner. It’s always hilarious to see where you end up when I come to check in on you.
- You are still TINY! We took you to your 6-month check up and your little 13lbs 12 ozs. only put you in the 15th Percentile for weight. It also has posed a slight problem in the clothing department. I had anticipated that by the time the weather changed you would be rocking the 6-12 month clothes, but you are JUST now fitting perfectly in 3-6 month stuff. So of course, I had to go out and buy you an entire warm clothes wardrobe to get you through the fall. Which, as I am sure you can imagine was torture. Hahaha – I kid of course, but it may have actually been torture for your Dad because he has made it a point to try and stop me from buying you clothes every minute of every day. But he can’t argue that you are the best-dressed baby this side of the Mississippi!
- You have finally rolled over the other way now – from your back to your tummy but you really don’t care to do it. I have only caught you doing it a few times. I know some babies use rolling over as a form of movement – and they could get all the way across the room. I think you are just not very concerned with trying to get away from us yet. ☺
- We have definitely taken you out this month. You visited the State Fair, the Minnesota Zoo and you have even gone to a Twin’s game! You loved going to all of these places and because you are so easy going, it makes us want to bring you everywhere!

Current Nicknames:

- Belly (of course)
- Belgian or Belgian Waffle
- Bell
- Elly Belly (or Elly Bell)
- Bear (or Belly Bear)
- Muncher
- Missy
- Baby Girl

Baby girl you are getting so big you are hardly a baby girl anymore. I can tell already that the next few months are going to be full of milestones that make you more and more independent. And as much as I love watching you learn and grow, I am going to very much miss the times that you are still small enough for me to carry and cuddle and rock to sleep at night. I promise to always remember these months for you so that when you ask me someday what kind of baby you were - I will be able to tell you about how amazing it all was and how much I loved being your mommy…


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Elliette - Month 5

Dearest Elliette-

Well here we are just moving right along – Month 5! I promised myself I wouldn’t make a huge deal about how fast you are growing and changing and how you should stop and all that – but really? 5 whole months old? You are barely a baby anymore! Turning 5 months is like turning 12. Not really a milestone month, but still older and cuter nonetheless!

There are so many little things you have done this month that make your Daddy and I scratch our heads and wonder – we made this? So much more of your personality has developed and as it turns out – you are hilarious!

One of the funniest things you do is the minute a bottle hits your lips your left hand immediately makes a “four” and you hold it up to the right side of your mouth. It’s like you were reminding us 6 times a day that you were in fact 4 months old…If you start to make a 5 after today – I may start you in pre school this fall…

You have also figured out that not only can you grab things we put in front of your face, if you try hard enough you can basically grab ANYTHING within reach! So you do – and it’s lead to a few “close” calls… I guess it’s time to start baby proofing! You are loving hair and noses and pretty much anything that is NOT meant for babies… Your curiosity is one of the most amazing things as a parent to watch. It’s like you are finally ready to soak up all you can in your sponge of a brain and I want to show you everything in the world.

My new most favorite time of the day is when you wake up in the morning…. You have hit a new level of sleeping awesomeness and are sleeping in until 8am or later. You also do not even cry when you wake up. I go in to check on you when I get out of the shower and find you awake, just hanging out with your mobile and your feet – totally content. Of course, the minute you see me – your face lights up and you smile the kind of smile that makes the Mom in me weepy…When I get you out, you grab me around the neck and pull your face in and screech – like you want to eat me. I consider this your way of hugging me and had I known what this felt like – I would have had babies 10 years ago…

You are on the verge of full on sitting which I think is going to be one of the biggest milestones yet! It will give you so much more freedom – no more bouncy chair! You can hang out without having to be on your tummy or back. You are only able to maintain a good sit for about 5 seconds or so, but you are good enough that I can give you a bath in the sink without the aid of a baby tub and you LOVE being submerged in water up to your chest.

The Highlights of Month Five:
- You LOVE water! Bath time is now totally fun for you because you LOVE to splash around in the water. Sometimes when we are trying to keep you entertained, we fill the bathroom sink up a little bit with water and let you kick your feet around in it. I think I may need to fill up a pool before summer is over so you can enjoy that too….
- You are now able to anticipate getting out of the car seat. After you get unbuckled, you lift your head up and try to help me get you out – it’s so cute…
- You have figured out how to turn your mobile on with your feet. And as cute as that is - you sometimes flail those legs of yours around in your sleep and you accidentally turn it on and it wakes you up… which you hate!
- Speaking of crib stuff – we are now able to put you to bed when you are sleepy but awake and you fall asleep all by yourself. I was sure you would hate this and would need me to rock you to sleep, but as it turns out, I needed it more than you! As much as I miss that special time where we snuggled and I watched you drift into sleep – I know this is best for you in the end… We have now just made it a different kind of routine – you have your nighttime bottle, we read a book and we rock for a just a few minutes before I lay you down. Honestly – what did I do to deserve such a GREAT baby??
- You still only roll over one way, but you are so close it’s a matter of days… I think that you can do it and you are just holding out for the perfect moment…
- We have tried Rice Cereal and you really are not into it. You can’t figure out what I am doing with that spoon in your mouth. Your faces are hilarious, but you really do not seem like you want to learn this new thing. I am hoping that you just hate the taste of it and once I can throw you some green beans – you will be all over it! We will see next month!!
- I am sure everyone will say there is no way you are able to do this – but we can get you to shake your head “NO”. It takes a while and sometimes you just are not in the mood to do it – but you are definitely shaking your head back and forth and know you are doing it… AMAZING!
- You are not saying any real “words” but you have developed some amazing new noises. It started when we went looking for a mattress – we walked into HOM Furniture and all of a sudden you started screeching. And you didn’t stop all day long. To me – it’s the sound of something awesome but I am sure to others – it’s more like the sound of – SHUT THAT KID UP ALREADY! I don’t care – I am the boss of you and I say – KEEP SCREECHING!
- You totally know your name now and will look at us when we call out to you – which surprises me considering the amount of nicknames we have given you…
- We have caught you doing the downward facing dog when we put you on your tummy, which is a move very close to a crawl… You don’t mean to do it – and it’s usually only after you are getting mad and trying to figure out a way to change positions, but it’s pretty cool to see you try new moves!

Current Nicknames:

- Belly
- Belgian
- Bell
- Elly Belly (or Elly Bell)
- Bear (or Belly Bear)
- Potato Munchkin
- Potato Muffin
- Muncher
- Butt Muncher (I know- BAD)
- Punchkin
- Jell
- Peanut Butter
- Waffle Maker (or just Waffle)

Another month has flown by and it seems that just when I get used to you being a certain age – you go and get bigger on me… So today on your 5-month birthday, I am going to try and appreciate this month for what it is – 30 days of your life. It’s not the baby you will always be, but it’s the baby you are today. And as far as babies go – you are hands down the best yet. I am so proud of you and all of your accomplishments in your short 5 months of life that I can’t imagine what it will feel like when you are 2 or 5 or 10. Someday months won’t seem to matter and we will look back at your life in years, but until then – I will cherish these amazing first months of you in our lives and how incredible it is to watch you grow…


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Daycare Drama

So I am getting used to the whole back to work thing. It's taken a while, but I am getting there... All was going well at Daycare until this week... It actually started a while back with the woman who would come and fill in sometimes from the other location. And because she wasn't there much - I was able to overlook the bad hair, inappropriate clothes and the tattoo of baby feet on her boob, which I couldn't avoid looking at because her boob was showing... Josh and I both made comments about her to each other and started calling her "Feet Teet" for code...

But this week - she is filling in FOR THE ENTIRE WEEK. Which means Elliette is exposed to Feet Teet ALL DAY for 5 days straight. Not only does she dress like she is trying to get knocked up by homeless dudes, she smells like pubes AND for two days in a row she has had green buggery mucus covering her nose holes. You think I am exaggerating - but I swear to you it's true. If this woman can't wipe her own nose - how can I expect her to wipe Elliette's? It's really really hard to leave her there everyday and focus on work. Josh is calling the Daycare Director to make a complaint and hopefully she will at least be required to have her personal hygiene up to par with Taco Bell employees by tomorrow... We'll see. It's hard to imagine paying the amount we pay every week to have this chick watch my baby. I think I would trust my brother more - and considering my brother eats Jag-bombs for breakfast - that is a pretty major statement....

So tonight when I pick her up, hopefully I don't get any looks like - "you totally ratted on me" or "I am going to wipe my nose on your baby later" or "I might try and breast feed your baby when you're not looking..." because I may just have to bring Elliette into work with me for the rest of the week.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Elliette - Month Four


Dear Baby Girl,

Today you turned 4 months old, which is completely too old if you ask me…. I wonder when I will stop wanting you to stay just where you are and accept that you grow constantly. I bet once you get past the baby phase and you become just a big kid, it will be easier. But for now – you are still my baby and I will hold on to every moment I can because I am not ready to let that go.

I am just going to say this, and it’s NOT because I made you, but you are the most incredible child in the entire world. I know all parents say this of their babies – and most probably believe it… But if they had you as their baby for 1 hour, they would realize that you are in fact the most perfect, beautiful baby girl ever and they would then try to convince me to give you to them. Or buy you for some ridiculous amount. Which wouldn’t be the first time, because after first meeting you, your Great Aunt Jenese offered us $15,000 to buy you. We laughed and then kinda glanced nervously at each other because it was an amount that was almost too real to be a joke… So I kept a close eye on you until we left in case she decided to just steal you instead…

You have gone from grins and tiny laughter to flirtatious smiles, uncontrollable giggles and absolutely adorable squeals that just make our hearts skip a beat because we can’t believe you are ours. We can’t go anywhere without someone stopping us to ask us about you and to comment on your beautiful eyes or skin. We feel like the luckiest parents in the world to have been given you as our daughter. And we wonder daily what we did to deserve you…

As you can tell, this month has been a pretty amazing month – not only developmentally for you, but also emotionally for us as parents. As we now begin to acclimate to life with a baby and I transition back to work, being parents is really starting to set in. It really is an amazing journey becoming a Mom or a Dad, and I think it takes a few months before it feels really good because there are so many unknowns. But now, your Daddy and I for the most part have figured you out. Which means we can take you places and introduce you to all there is out there in the world. It’s so much more fun! The scary what-if’s just don’t happen that much anymore. We can anticipate your needs and therefore eliminate almost all of your cries and instead just enjoy each other. It really is an awesome experience being your Mom and it’s hard to believe we are just getting started!

Developmentally, you are like a new baby this month. It’s like a switch went off one night and here we are with a new baby that can do ALL THIS STUFF! Like grab your feet and EAT them! WHAT? One day you had no idea that they were even attached, and the next they are in your hands and the day after that they were in your mouth! Now that you have found your new best friends, diaper changes are easier because you hold your little butt up for us. It also means you will spend up to a half hour on the floor trying to figure out what to do with them next. Which is nice for your Daddy and I because we get a few minutes to get some stuff done.

Oh – did I mention that you also ROLLED OVER? Ah yeah… That one happened on July 10th after I put you on your tummy to enjoy some tummy time. You have started to actually enjoy spending time on your tummy because you have figured out how to hold yourself up pretty well. But now – you are almost never on your tummy because every time I put you on it – you roll over! You have ALMOST rolled from your back to your tummy, but that one seems a little harder for you.

We went to your Great Grandpa and Grandma’s Lake Cabin for your first 4th of July and you did great. You slept right through our fireworks show on the beach so you didn’t get to experience that, but we took you on your first boat ride on the Pontoon and you loved it. You basically would fall asleep and not wake up until we woke you up. The hum and the movement just put you in a trance. You also tried out the baby pool we got for you. I filled it and let it warm up in the sun for a couple of days before I let you get in, but you seemed to like it! It was so nice for you to spend this holiday with your Namba and the rest of the family. They don’t get to see you very often and that made it so much more special to have you there. I have been coming to this cabin since I was a baby and I am just so excited to share this place with you as you grow. I have a lot of great memories here and I hope someday you will too!

This month, we are both going through yet another major change – breast-feeding… When we were home together, my body was making TONS of milk. I made enough to save away like 60 4oz bottles for when you went to Daycare before I headed back to work. But once I was at work, pumping wasn’t going so great. My body started to produce less and less milk. And as you became more comfortable with the bottle and the immediate gratification that came with it – breast-feeding was getting to be stressful. You would fight it because it took too long for the milk to come out… Which, of course, led to me producing even less milk.

I had decided to supplement with formula for 1 feeding a day to make sure you were getting as much as you could take in before bed so you would sleep all night. You were still getting breast milk during the day at Daycare, but I knew the freezer stash was going to run out soon because I was not able to put back the amount I was taking out every day so I wanted to introduce formula to your system. I tried to pump 3 times a day at work, but I was not getting very much milk and it was taking a very long time to get it. I was stressing out about it and it was becoming more work that it needed to be.

So I stopped pumping at work and just fed you in the morning and after Daycare. But you are growing and needed more milk and my body just wasn’t cutting it so we started doing formula all the time at home. And last week, the last of the freezer stash was used at Daycare so you are now on formula there too. It’s been hard for me to not give you the best of everything and when I know that breast milk is better for you than formula it kills me that I can’t provide it for you. But I had to do what was right. And you and I both are happier for it. I still feed you in the early am hours if you wake up from the breast, but it’s mostly for comfort and not really to fill you up. I will say that I miss that bonding experience, but I also enjoy watching your Daddy have a new thing to share with you now so it makes it easier.

The Highlights of Month Four:

- Your standing has now become so intense that the other day I put you up to the coffee table and you were standing there ALL BY YOURSELF! I can also get you to take little steps if I walk with you holding my hands. I swear you will be walking before you crawl!
- You have turned into a little wiggle worm lately and we have to be careful when we are carrying you because at any moment you may decide you want out and arch your back to try and change positions.
- You LOVE to laugh and smile! Every night after we get home from Daycare, I put you on your changing table and we have a laugh session that just melts me. You are so funny and sweet – I want to eat you…
- Speaking of changing tables…. WHOA. You have officially changed your pooping routine and it’s pretty much adult and gross. You only go about once a day now – it’s like you are saving it up for one giant download. And MAN does it ever smell!! Your Daddy and I now argue about who has to change them.
- You are finally able to understand and enjoy toys! I can put something in front of you and you can grab it with no problem and get it into your mouth. It’s pretty crazy to see you interact with them finally!
- You LOVE your excer-saucer toy that Auntie Andrea bought you. We set you in it and love to watch those little wheels in your head turn!
- You have officially transitioned into your Big Girl bed now and are doing great. You haven’t really changed your sleeping pattern at all. You have even slept until 7am a few times now and because of that – I will buy you a pony someday.
- Your hands, I have decided, are just a part of your mouth now. They are ALWAYS in there! I am not sure if you are teething or just exploring the many ways you can get your fingers in there, but you cannot keep them out – unless of course your feet are in there…
- I have been trying to get you to say Ma Ma and Da Da and Ba Ba, but so far you just make funny noises trying to mimic me. No matter what comes out of your mouth though– it’s still adorable and again, I want to eat you.

Current Nicknames:

- Belly (of course)
- Belgian
- Elgen
- Bell
- Elly Belly (or Elly Bell)
- Bear (or Belly Bear)

So there you have it Missy – Your fourth month of life... And what a month it was! You are loved beyond belief and if next month is anything like this one, I hope my heart doesn’t explode with all the joy and happiness you bring into my life….


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Elliette - Month Three


Dearest Elliette-

Month three? MONTH THREE? It really is incredible how fast you are growing and changing and learning. In this last month you have done some SERIOUS big girl stuff. It’s almost like you are a new baby altogether. That baby you were back at 8 weeks? WAAAYYY immature and super needy – this baby you are at 13 weeks? Totally big time grown up girl doing big kid stuff. Like LAUGHING!

You seriously make ME laugh with all your goofing off! I think you may be the most hilarious baby I have ever met! Your full on coos and gummy grins that seem to take over your entire body are LIFE CHANGING for your Dad and I. Honestly, when you started cooing and smiling, I thought nothing was better. But now when we poke our faces in front of yours you make some of the most incredible noises I have ever heard. Screeching, full force arm and leg movements fake coughing and the grins that will soon be followed by hilarious giggles (SOON!) make every day so much fun. I try EVERYTHING to get that giggle to come out. It has escaped a few times and it’s totally the most adorable thing you have ever done. I am thinking another week and you will be laughing at EVERYTHING!

We took you camping this month and you were amazing. I was totally freaked about stuff that in the end was NOT a big deal at all. How would I heat your bottles? How would I keep your breast milk cold? How would I keep you happy if you the weather was icky? What would I do with you during naps? How would you sleep at night? Turns out – heating your bottles was super easy with our coffee percolator – we got the water super hot on the camp stove and then set your bottle in it to warm up. It took like 3 minutes. The breast milk was still frozen 2 days later, you were happy the entire time so I never had to worry about keeping you happy. You took naps on the tent bed and even fell asleep by yourself. You slept one night from 10pm to 6:45am – longer than you have ever slept in your life…. In a tent! Honestly – you did better camping than you usually do at home… and I have considered putting the tent up in the backyard just in case…

You also started Daycare this month… Which was VERY hard for me, but you seem to have taken it in stride. Mary, your Daycare teacher thinks you are pretty sweet, but it’s still hard for me to leave you with someone else everyday. I want to be the one to see you try all the new things and see all of your milestones. I know though, that no one will ever replace me in your life because no one can love you like your momma. It’s just going to take me a few weeks to adjust. You did come home the other day in a new outfit because you “blew out” of the first one… HAHA – in your face Daycare! But then, on Friday, you came home with the sickness…. I now am sick with some yucky yuck and you have your first ear infection and eye infection. It didn’t take long! Hardy har – in MY face I know I know….

The Highlights of Month Three:

- You LOVE to stand. On our laps, on the floor, and even in the bathtub. I hold on to you and get you to even take a few steps!
- Your head holding up abilities has grown now into the INability to NOT hold up your head. I look in the rear-view mirror in the car and I see you in your car seat holding your head WAAAAY forward just so you are not resting that neck.
- You have now decided that you in fact LIKE the car seat and like going on car rides!! We can drive pretty much anywhere and you don’t make a peep – unless you are talking to your toys and making cute noises instead of those scary ones that make me want to run us off bridges.
- You have officially giggled. The first time was when we were getting ready for a walk and I had you in my arms face down and I heard you make the sweetest noise EVER. I think your neck was being tickled by my arm and it was totally involuntary. It’s not easy to get you to make the ACTUAL giggle but when I do I feel like life could stop… It’s the BEST!
- You love taking baths and are now splashing and kicking like crazy! It’s a great way to pass the evening time before bed because you cannot help but be happy in the water.
- You love being outside – which is why I think you did so well camping. We go on walks and you just can’t stop those arms and legs from flailing like crazy!
- Whenever we pick you up from Daycare, I am reminded that no child is safe from the dreaded SNOTTY CRUSTY NOSE. It’s gross but I still love you.
- You still HATE tummy time, but we make you do it anyway. You definitely are much stronger in the legs than in your arms, but we are working on it.
- You LOVE your Winkle. I know that may sound a bit disgusting, but really it’s just a cool toy with plastic tubes that you can grab onto. It’s in your car seat and you always have a pretty good grip on it when I get you out.
- You are finally able to grab objects and bat at things we put in front of you. It’s going to be crazy when you are able to grab things when I am not dangling them in front of you – like all the booze and poison we keep in the house….
- You are still sleeping in our room in the bassinet, but I think after this month we are going to transition you into your big girl bed… and by transition you I mean me because I am going to have a hard time not having you so close.
- You get the biggest kick out of your Daddy and I when we sing to you. We make up the most ridiculous songs and your smiles make us think we are doing something right!
- You don’t hate sleeping anymore and you actually will fall asleep when you are tired without much of a fight. EVEN in the car seat!!
- You still totally love your hands and still drool copious amounts… Also you blow bubbles all the time and you have almost mastered the noise to go along with it!

Current Nicknames:

- Bell –(sometimes I think we should have named you Belle because we call you it so much!)
- Belly
- Belly Bear
- Bellisimo
- Belgian
- Lollypop (This is your Papa’s Nickname for you)
- Munchkin
- Muncher
- Pumpkin Head

Overall, this month has been the biggest month of changes for you yet. You rounded a corner of development that has really made hanging out with you awesome. You like to just be a baby now and want to see any and everything we can get in front of you. It’s such an amazing experience to show you stuff and watch you learn. Being a Mom to you is the most enjoyable and exciting thing I have ever done with my life. Never stop being curious and never stop being the sweetest, most beautiful baby in the entire world…


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

We survived!

Alright. Day one is over and day two is halfway through... I can already tell that this will get a little easier every day, but yesterday was ROUGH! I woke up pretty much mad at the day that was ahead of me just dreading every part of it - the packing of the baby stuff, my stuff for work, making sure Elliette was fed before we went and being late.

Of course I cried. I cried before we were even at the Daycare. I started about 5 blocks from our house on the way there. It was just overwhelming. I couldn't imagine leaving my baby and then going into work! We walked in to the Daycare and I immediately broke down and said "I'm a mess"... and Mary the lead teacher was great. She assured me that all Mom's have a tough time with this. We got Elliette all settled in and left. I cried all the way to Josh's office to drop him off and I cried all the way to mine. I waited in a Caribou parking lot for a few minutes trying to get my face to calm down a little before I walked in to Periscope. Once I was feeling better I walked up to my office and all it took was one person looking in my direction for me to break down again. I went on like this for about an hour and then I finally started to get the hang of interacting with people without loosing it.

I left work early just so I could feel better about leaving Elliette for the first time and when I picked her up, she was a perfect sleeping baby. Apparently, she loves to sleep everywhere but at home because she slept for 2 hours in the morning and was 1 hour into an afternoon nap when I showed up! She was absolutely unaffected by me leaving her there which is both comforting and insulting at the same time.... I mean I have spent every waking minute of the last 3 months trying to figure out what makes her happy and what her schedule should be - and in one morning someone else totally figured her out! It does however, feel really good knowing that she is happy and in good hands....

Today is easier and I didn't even cry once. I was only a half hour late for work so it must be getting easier! I am leaving a little early again but not just for Miss Elliette's sake - for Zoei... She has to have a DRAIN TUBE removed from her back due to a horrible run-in with a Dick Face dog that attached her while we were camping on the beach.

We had just set up our spot with the baby and all of our stuff when out of nowhere a huge 90+ lb dog came at Zoei from behind and snapped her up in it's jaws and proceeded to try and kill her. I ran over to them and Zoei was making sounds I have never heard her make before. I brought her back to our towels and checked for injuries and I found a hole in her back. It was horrible.... Josh ran her to the front office of the campsite where they were able to find a vet to come in and help us. Thank god! When the vet looked at Zoei's wound, she saw that it was really deep and she needed to sew 2 layers of muscle back up in order to fix it so she had to cut a bigger opening for her to get into the layers. Once she had her all patched up she wanted to make sure there was no internal draining so she put in a drain tube. Poor Zoei has a 4 inch gash on her back sewn up like Frankenstein and a plastic tube seeping sweet stuff out of it.... I will be so happy to have that thing pulled out of her so she can finally lay on stuff without leaving behind a small gooey piece of herself. She hates having to wear a cone, but it's totally necessary until it heals a little more. Thankfully she is going to be fine, but it definitely reminded me that she is not always going to be around and I need to not loose sight of her awesomeness with all the baby stuff that happened.

Here she is on Sunday after we got back from Camping...

As far as camping is concerned - our baby is AMAZING. I was totally prepared for the worst when it came to Elliette and the outdoors but as it turns out - she LOVES sleeping in tents and hanging out in the wilderness. She went to bed on the first night at 10pm and slept until 6:45am - the LONGEST she has ever slept. She even took great naps and fell asleep by herself every time. I can't wait to go to the lake in a month and see how she likes the boat!

We took some ridiculously cute photos of her enjoying the outdoors so check Josh's flickr page soon to see!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

T-minus 3 more days.....

3 more days of this week and then - dun dun duuuuuunnn --- I have to go back to work. I start back on Monday which still seems IMPOSSIBLE. It seems impossible that I have an almost 3 month old baby. It seems impossible that I will be physically able to leave my baby with strangers for 8 hours a day 5 days a week. It seems impossible that I will be able to do this whole thing without being TOTALLY un-stoked. SO I guess I will just do what I have to in order to get through it... It has to get better with time!

It really hit home today when we stopped by the Daycare Center to go over all the details and to get her acquainted with the teachers. It was nice to see everything again, but it's funny how now that I actually have a real baby and not just a "baby" in my belly - NOTHING is good enough. I want to bring her toys and blankets and everything she will need so she won't have to use stuff all these other kids play with... But that is crazy talk and I know I will get over it soon enough. I know that she will have fun playing with kids and everyone there seemed very happy...

I had all these things I wanted to do before my time off was over and it always seemed like I had 4 more weeks - but here were are - 3 days away and I have a TON of stuff to finish! I started a Baby Photo book that I wanted to have up to date before I went to work so I could easily add to it as she grew. I am not even done with the Pregnancy photos - let alone the 400 shots we took of her first month of life!!!!

I also wanted to get all my planters done and the backyard looking great. I have managed to buy 2 planters, but there is nothing in them or the other 8 planters for that matter.

I wanted to have a rummage sale - but even if I didn't actually have the sale before I went back, I wanted to at least have everything ready - priced and organized. HA! I have 2 giant piles of stuff in the garage and what seems like no hope to ever get that one done. I guess we will have a big weekend project on our hands!

Other than those things - I really wanted to just feel like I did everything I could with Elliette. We have of course done the Shopping outings, Lunch with friends and walks in the parks - but I guess I just wanted to feel like I had exhausted every last moment of this leave so I didn't regret anything. But here we are and I wish I had 3 more months to spend watching her learn and seeing her change every day. She is just becoming such a little person with a fun little personality to go with it. I love her to pieces and I hate to feel like I am missing anything.

I know I am making the right decision to go back to work, it's just going to be a huge adjustment - emotionally and physically. I have really been in an alter state of my life that is NOTHING like it was before. And now, I have to return to the old life but with a baby! It will be good to get back into a rhythm of getting up and going to work and learning how to get Elliette to the Daycare and me to work on time. I am sure the first few weeks will be interesting!

Other than all these emotions I am feeling - I LOVE being a Mom to such an amazing baby girl. She is my everything and I can't imagine not having her. What a gift she is to her Dad and I. We LOVE LOVE LOVE her!