Wednesday, March 31, 2010
While we're on the subject of tears, I'll admit to having a mini-breakdown yesterday. I blame "working mom stress." It's so hard to see Ellie in pain and struggling. And it makes it even worse to see those things and then leave her in the care of someone else. My heart was breaking yesterday when I left her wailing at day care after our lunch visit :( I know that babies are going to cry sometimes from teething pain or overtiredness, but that knowledge isn't too comforting to me when it comes to Ellie. I just wanted to take her with me or stay in the visiting room all afternoon holding her.
But, instead, I went back to work and had a super frustrating afternoon. On the days when I fill in for my boss at work, I am SO busy that I feel like I can't do any of my tasks very well. I tend to just hop around "putting fires out" — or, literally, dealing with fires that are breaking news! Instead of feeling any sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, I just felt exhausted and stressed from the weight of all the tasks I hadn't yet finished bearing down on me.
So yesterday I felt like I failed on both the work and mom fronts. Brian kept telling me last night that it wasn't true, and I love him for offering support. But it was still a bad day for me, and I'm still trying to shake it off.
I have friends, some who are new moms themselves, ask me how I fit so much in — especially keeping up with my running. Sometimes it's overwhelming to figure out how I'll squeeze in a few miles during the day. I usually run at the end of the work day because it's easier than going in the morning (largely because of the logistics of still nursing Ellie) and I like having the option of taking Ellie with to get some fresh air.
There are days when it's the last thing I feel like doing after an insane 8-10 hours at work. But once I actually get out for the run, and afterward, I'm so glad that I put the energy into making that workout happen. I know getting regular exercise helps me de-stress, puts me in a better mood and makes me a better mom (and wife!). Still, I won't pretend that it's easy fitting everything into the schedule most days.
Hope I don't sound like too much of a whiner. So much of what I put up here is happy and positive — because it's hard to be down with such a wonderful little girl in our lives. But Ellie and I both have bad days. Here's hoping Ellie conquers her tooth today and I can stop gnashing my own teeth!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Even though Brian tries not to let it bother him, I know it does. And I totally understand. It would drive me nuts! We're just trying to focus on this being a phase — as all our parent-friends have told us it is. I'm sure it'll be the other way around at some point.
In the meantime, I was so excited to let Ellie and dad play on Sunday (while I got a few other things done). Brian continued the "clapping training" that we've been working on for a couple weeks with Ellie. And guess what? He got the big pay off! Here's the proof:
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I think we may be doing some baby-proofing at the house this weekend...
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Good thing, too! We got some good pictures during grandma's visit last weekend. Here she is with Ellie on Sunday morning before church. And here's Ellie and Grandma Linda playing! (Note: The Leinenkugels box on the floor is not from any weekend drinking exploit. It's empty and I made it into a "drum" for Ellie last week. She's a big fan!)
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Ellie's had a couple forays into the finger-foods arena in the past week. We offered her some pieces of cooked pasta last week and some Cheerios this weekend. She likes playing with the stuff, but hasn't quite mastered the art of eating it. Brian marvels at the fact that anything else she puts her hands on ultimately winds up in her mouth... but not the food!
Friday, March 19, 2010
It has been a great week! The weather is absolutely gorgeous, and we've gotten outside to enjoy it every day as a family. It just puts me in such a great mood!
Brian and I suited up for running after work two nights this week. Ellie came along, of course, in the stroller and bounced her legs/feet most of the time to show us she was "running," too! Even though it doesn't happen that often, I love when Brian and I can coordinate our schedules to go on a run together. It gives us a chance to talk and be active. We both really want Ellie to grow up in an active household, one where playing outside and being a part of sports team is "the norm" not the exception.
Anyhow, here are a couple of fun, recent shots. Above is our who family decked out in green on St. Patty's Day. And the next one is me and Ellie before heading to church Sunday.
And here's Ellie and her dad before work one day last week. You can't see it, but Ellie's wearing a shirt that says "Daddy's little princess." She might be showing a little preference toward me right now, but I'm sure the days of mom-coolness are numbered. I have no doubt Ellie's going to be a total daddy's girl :)
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Below there's a shamrock she made, and Ellie decked out in green today. Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I can't wait to put her in her fancy Easter dress and hat in a few weeks. I remember how excited I used to get about wearing a bonnet on the holiday! I'm guessing Ellie won't care one way or the other this year, but hopefully she'll understand both the religious and fun traditions of the holiday further down the road.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Brian and I spent our lunch hour at Ellie's "school" today for parent-teacher conferences. Bobbi, the lead teacher in Ellie's room, starting the discussion by saying that she doesn't agree with testing babies — and that Ellie is not behind developmentally.
She then proceeded to tell us how the recent tests showed a couple areas where Ellie is behind.
Well, sort of. I may have taken the discussion a bit too personally... Let me explain.
The Denver testing shows a bunch of social, language, fine and gross motor skills that babies should be developing at different ages. Ellie has hit a whole bunch of them right on target, or even ahead of schedule. She's sitting up unassisted, jabbering, holding objects in both hands and passing between the two.
Some of the testing areas have outdated benchmarks, Bobbi explained. Now that babies are sleeping on their backs, very few if any roll over between two and four months of age... yet that's on the test. Ellie still isn't rolling over on a consistent basis... so there's a big fat "F" (fail) marked in that category :(
Most of her test shows "P's" (pass) but there are a few other F's. Ellie can't clap yet — but how many 7-month-olds can? She also isn't waving good-bye. We're working on it, people!
I'm trying to keep my sense of humor on this whole testing thing, but in some ways I really take it to heart. I actually got a lump in my throat during the conference, when hearing about areas where Ellie needs work. This crazy, protective feeling swelled up in me and I wanted to shout: "She's perfect!" Thankfully, I did not. I'm sure Brian appreciates when I don't let the "crazy mom" in me take over!
So many fellow moms have told me that babies hit milestones at their own pace. Yet, these benchmarks are still out there and hard to ignore! I want Ellie to be where she's supposed to be developmentally. But where exactly is that?
OK, I'm mostly venting here. I'm not really that worried about Ellie. She's a happy, healthy baby girl who can do a whole lot of things already. She truly amazes me every day. I don't care if she's pulling herself up to sitting or making funny grunting noises as she fills her pants... too bad that last one wasn't on the test!
And I don't mean to sound down on her day care either. They do an amazing job working with her and teaching her things. And Bobbi began and ended today's conference by saying that Ellie is doing great. Now there's a test result I can get on board with.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
Friday, March 12, 2010
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Ellie has been equal-opportunity with mom and dad since she was born. Either of us would do when she wanted to play, be held, eat or be rocked when she was fussy. But lately, it's becoming painfully obvious that Ellie has started favoring Dorothy over me.
I knew it would happen sooner or later, and I've been told that her preferences will go back and forth over time. But there's something tough about picking up your daughter and having her wriggle a little and reach for mom.
In a way, I'm glad it happened this way first. I think Dorothy would have a much more difficult time with it than I am. She takes these things to heart. It's not that I'm not taking it to heart just a little, but Dorothy just has a tougher time when it comes to stuff like this.
I guess the good thing is that one day, she'll probably swing back to being daddy's girl. I'll get to gloat that she's had it the other way, and decided on dad. And Dorothy will know how it feels and let me have my moments, as fleeting as they'll surely be.
Oh, the headline mentions puppies. No matter who is in the room, Radar and Muzzy always win out over mom and dad. Ellie can't get enough of watching them romp and roughhouse on the floor together.
So the real battle here is not which parent she favors, I guess, but which species.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
This is the best I could do when I tried to get a picture of this miniscule tooth peeking through her gums! It's there, I swear.
And here she is being a trooper at the doctor's office, even though she had to get two more shots. She also weighed in at 19 lbs, 2 oz. And the doctor gave her a clean bill of health. No ear infections, yay!
We walked to and from the doctor's office (which is only about a half mile away) and the weather was gorgeous! And we met up with Janet's weekly play group on the way home at the park. I have today off since I'm working on Saturday this week -- fun today, but won't be fun come this weekend. Oh well.
Ellie slept through most of the play group, which was OK since she's not really big enough to do much playing yet. The other kids are all over a year old.
But Ellie woke up near the end and got to visit with Janet for a bit.
Meanwhile, Janet's son, Isaac, fell asleep on the swing! Too cute. I guess he played himself right out. That's the sign of a tired boy.
Monday, March 8, 2010
Saturday, March 6, 2010
We introduced veggies to Ellie first because I've heard most babies love fruit so much that they'll have a hard time with veggies after tasting "the good stuff." Well, we finally decided to give Ellie her first fruit this morning. She did NOT love it.... Bananas will not be on her menu for now, but we'll probably try apple sauce tomorrow. Maybe that will be more to her liking. I'm so glad Brian had the camera going for this meal because her expressions are priceless :)
Friday, March 5, 2010
Thursday, March 4, 2010
And then her Grandma Linda gave her the perfect present this past weekend: Her own purse! Ellie's soft-fabric purse comes complete with a stuffed cell phone, keys and a lipstick. I showed her below how to use her phone hands-free.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
- 1. Babbling up a storm. I joke every so often that I hear her say big words — "daddy," "mama" or even "Eleanor" — but I don't think she's quite reached that milestone yet. She sure likes to hear herself talk, though! And we love it, too.
- 2. Eating veggies and rice cereal. She's back to eating like a champ, after her hiatus for a couple days. The biggest obstacles are when Ellie decides to chew, talk or blow bubbles right as we put the spoon full of food in her mouth. The only bigger mess comes when she sneezes during meal time!
- 3. Sitting up and playing with toys. She loves just about everything we put in her hands, whether it's soft blocks, rings, board books or a paper plate.
- 4. Reaching for everything in our hands. If Ellie sees it, she wants it! I've learned to keep a strong grip on any cup or papers I'm holding if Ellie is in the other arm — because she inevitably reaches out and gives it a good yank.
- 5. Laughing! I'll have to get some video up on this, but she is really giggling a LOT these days. She is ticklish sometimes and loves getting "whooshed" in the air. Proof to come.
- 6. Putting her feet in her mouth. I noticed a fuzz on her chin the other day after changing her. It was sock lint left behind!
- 7. Listening to bedtime stories. Part of our routine almost every night is for dad to read a story while I feed her before bed. We're currently reading her chapters from the Classic Pooh book, for the second time. Brian does a pretty great Eeyore voice. Maybe I'll get video of that, too?
- 8. Jumping and bouncing. Ellie goes a little nuts whenever she's in her exersaucer, especially the ones at school because they have more springs for jumping. And if we're holding her in a standing position in our laps, all she wants to do is bounce, bounce, bounce.
- 9. Learning how to get what she wants... this one isn't entirely positive, but it's clear that Ellie is learning how to "win." She'll often cry and fuss until one of us picks her up or sits on the floor with her. We know that she's aware of how it works because we (and the ladies at school) have found that she'll quiet just from seeing us walk toward her. But if we veer in another direction or don't come to actively play with her, she starts fussing again. We will continue working on getting Ellie to entertain herself for longer stretches.
- 10. When we're not trying to teach her important lessons, though, a favorite in our house is cuddle-time. Ellie will sometimes give us hugs, and when she's getting sleepy she'll lay her head down on my shoulder. It absolutely melts my heart. Just when I think I can't possibly love her any more, she goes and gets even more adorable and wonderful.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Ellie got plenty of love and attention from her great-grandparents, grandparents and others. See some of the weekend's pictures below: Ellie being a parrot on Grandpa's shoulder :)
The great-grandparents treated us to a breakfast at Golden Corral. Here's both Ellies in one picture!
Ellie is a very big girl in her own highchair at the Olive Garden. She didn't get to order off the menu just yet, but was still a very active part of the meal. She didn't stop talking/babbling the whole time we were there!