Friday, April 30, 2010

Dance move

For the past 10 days or so, Ellie has been doing this periodic shimmy that we call her "dance move." Sometimes it's very brief, kind of like a shudder with her upper body and head... but sometimes she gets her arms into the swing, too. It's very funny! Sometimes it happens when there's music playing or one of us is singing to her... sometimes just when she's playing on the floor by herself. Kind of a mystery.
I finally decided to ask one of her teachers at day care if they've noticed her doing it, or if they've been working on dancing with her. Bobbi said sometimes the kids in the room will "dance" to music playing on the radio... but, more likely, she said babies often shiver a little when they are peeing! SO, either the rhythm has gotten Ellie... or, she frequently pees her pants. Or both, I suppose :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Mmm... Cheerios

I'm on a video kick this week. Finally got around to uploading them from the other camera :)
As I mentioned, Ellie is a big Cheerio fan. She actually said "mmmmm" (with her voice getting higher pitched at the end) when she saw me getting out the box of them the other day. And she's been known to shove four or more of them into her mouth at a time... definitely daddy's girl!
Here she is showing off her pincer grasp and all-around finger food eating skills.
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Enjoying Sunday ads

As promised, here's some video of Ellie's new favorite toy — the Sunday Walgreens ad. It's the perfect paper for her to play with because she can't tear it (or eat it!)... She played on the floor with this ad for a good 20 minutes while Brian and I got to read the rest of the paper :)
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Standing up!

Check out Ellie's latest feat! Brian really doesn't help at all... she's just getting so strong.

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What's up...

I've been a little lax on the blog recently, but here is a whole bunch of stuff that's been going on in our world:

• Sick bay: Ellie and I were both pretty sick by the end of last week. I figured both were just colds, but decided to get Ellie checked out by Friday afternoon. Turns out she has another ear infection :( Her doctor wants her back in for a re-check in a month... and if there's no progress on the ear, then we have to take her to an ear, nose and throat specialist to talk about getting tubes put in. Dr. Miller said if we were having this conversation in November (the start of the sicker season) it would be less likely Ellie could avoid tubes, but since it's almost May... she just might be able to stay healthy enough. Fingers crossed! My cold is finally improving, too. It's nice that we're both on the mend and Brian seems to have his allergies mostly under control. For awhile there I thought we should buy stock in Kleenex!

• Growing girl, barely: Ellie's latest doctor's visit included a weigh-in. She was 19 lbs, 4 oz — which is only 2 oz. more than she weighed at a doctor's visit around 7 months! The doctor said it's normal for the growth to taper off around this time because she's getting more mobile and active. And I don't think she's in danger of wasting away :)

• On her plate: Ellie continues to expand her meal repertoire, having tried many fruits and vegetables, along with rice cereal and oatmeal. Her favorite is probably squash. We've been cooking all of our own veggies and fruits for her, and it's been really easy to prepare a whole week's worth of meals from just one acorn squash and a bag of frozen peas. I think we've definitely saved money doing it this way. We've been encouraging more finger foods, too. Ellie is a champ at eating Cheerios — with more than 50 percent of them usually making it into her mouth :) And she'll eat a few of the baby puffs that you can buy at the store. We've also tried peas, corn, cooked pasta and tofu pieces... but she's not been a fan so far. We'll keep working on it with her, as our ultimate goal is to have her eating whatever we're eating at the table by the time she's around a year old.

• Biting: Speaking of eating... Ellie has been on a biting kick this week. Sorry if this is too much information for the male audience, but she's been biting me almost every time I nurse her this week. I'm not sure what I can really do about it. I've been telling her "no" when it happens, but does she really understand? Probably not. She usually eats OK for a few minutes or so, but then starts to get bored (I guess?) and then clamps down... Not pleasant for me. Any thoughts from the other moms out there?

Monday, April 26, 2010

New camera :)

This is how pictures have been turning out with our old camera. Ellie's not moving that fast, but the camera's flash stopped working so most pictures come out blurry.
SO, we decided to use some of our tax return money to invest in a new camera. It's funny that we got something 3x smaller with many more megapixels and zoom for $50 less than what we paid for our old camera five years ago! I'm very excited to be back in business as Ellie's designated photog :)
Here she is at the end of a long "scoot" the other day. She's pretty good at going backwards, but wasn't too happy when she got stuck under the couch.

Here's Ellie and me hamming it up to test out different settings on our new Canon Powershot 1300. (Our old one was a Powershot 530, so we've really moved up in the world.)





















And ( below) look what I picked up at Bed, Bath & Beyond yesterday! I'd like to say she was on sale, but I would even pay full price for this hot little item :)
Ellie loves the crinkling of plastic bags. We obviously do not let her play with them unless we're sitting right there supervising. It was like Christmas, though, when I put her IN her own bag yesterday! Notice how all the other toys are cast off to the side. It's so funny how Ellie is so much more interested in bags, papers, tags and remotes than she is in her mountains of toys. More video on this to come...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our baby is weird


video
When Ellie works on tummy time recently, she often winds up chewing on the floor — for lack of a better description :) She also takes frequent breaks to "recharge" by sucking her thumb. It's all very cute, and weird! The sound effects are the best.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Moneybags

Ellie now has her very own bank account! I opened it for her today and made a whopping deposit of $20. Along with the account, Ellie got a free green piggy bank so she can start collecting her pennies :)
Brian and I are excited to try to save a little each month in an account for Ellie. Hopefully we can gather money in the account and then buy some CDs along the way, so the funds will actually earn more than 0.1 percent interest! Although every little bit helps, I suppose. It sounds like there a several good savings plans for children. I heard about one that Indiana offers that is tax-deductible... so that might be a good option. We'll keep exploring ways to save for Ellie's college, because we know higher education is getting so expensive and want her to have any leg up possible.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hard at work

We've all had days when we felt like this, right? Poor Ellie has a lot of congestion at the moment.
Apparently her whole classroom has a cough and is fighting some sort of cold :(







But we (and the teachers) are still putting Ellie to work, as seen in the standing picture below. I'm so proud of the progress she's making! She is getting really good at steadying herself when standing, while still holding onto something. And apparently she pushed herself over from all fours into a sitting up position yesterday at school... though she hasn't done it again yet! She's going to be really on the move very soon now... Look out!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A new "do"

One of the ladies at Ellie's day care styled her hair on Friday :) She looks very cute with her first ponytail! And I was even able to recreate it without much fuss on Saturday. It's fun to be able to play with her hair a little more!

We had a very fun and productive weekend at the Wallheimer house. On Saturday, the whole family ran in the Purdue Cancer Center 5K race. Brian pushed Ellie in the stroller and let me try for a new PR, which I got! I finished in 26:50. I was psyched! It was faster than my best time and also way faster than my time (33:04) in the 2009 race... granted I was 6 months pregnant with Ellie at that time...
Brian pointed out that this was actually Ellie's third race, since she did the 5K and a half-marathon with me last year. But this was her first race on the outside! She slept through most of it :) Brian and she finished in 32:51. That was a great time considering he had to push her uphill for the whole second mile and navigate the stroller through the throngs of walkers at the start of the race. We all had a great time! Brian plans to try for a new PR in our next 5K :)

On Sunday, we all got more fresh air. Brian and I put in about 80 border stones in our back yard. We did a bunch while Ellie took her morning nap. And then she came outside and played in the pack-and-play for nearly an hour while we continued to work. I was so happy to see her entertaining herself, scooting around in her playpen and watching the dogs run around the yard. It was an exhausting and satisfying day. We all slept like babies last night.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The delicate balance

Thanks for all the advice on warm-weather jammies! It's funny how much thought, equipment and energy we put into sleep arrangements for these little ones... but getting those quality zzz's is important :)
Last night we went without the humidifier and just a cotton sleep-sack for Ellie. The temperature seemed to work out, but I forgot to consider the noise factor. She woke up several times because of the extra noise she could hear (without the humidifier on and with windows open in parts of upstairs). I think we'll try to run a fan in her room (not pointing at her crib), to provide some extra white noise. We already run a radio quietly at night, but I think some extra sound will be good to drown out the sounds of us getting ready for bed and our dumb dogs! Muzzy went charging into her room at 10 p.m. last night, banging the door open and waking Ellie up... 90 minutes later I finally got to go to bed myself. (sigh) Sometimes I feel like we actually have 3 children!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Jammies in the heat?

I went into Ellie's room this morning and thought I was entering a tropical rain forest. Between the 80-degree days we've had this week and the humidifier we run in her room at night, it was very warm and steamy!
I've been struggling with what to dress her in for sleep this week. Her long-sleeve, footy pajamas seem to warm in this weather. But she usually kicks off any blanket we put on her overnight. When I put her in short sleeves and socks the other night, all of her bare skin was cold when I got her up in the morning :( Any suggestions?
Ellie is still sleeping at night like an angel, so I guess it's not bothering her too much... but I'd like to have a better system than "guessing" worked out by the extended summer months. Also, should we stop using the humidifier in the warm weather/summer when there's more moisture in the air already?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Aquarium weekend pics

Yay! Here are some pictures from Maggie of the past weekend we spent with the crew in Chicago. Above is Ellie with Aunt Maggie and Uncle Chris.
Below is a closed-eye Ellie shot with Aunt Jen, cousin Mason and Uncle Dan. She had a lot of fun getting horsey rides courtesy of Dan's knee :)

Here's Ellie playing "eat the coaster" with Uncle Chris...
And here she is offering to share the coaster and showing off her plunging neckline :) And here's Ellie with Aunt Maggie, a.k.a. Fake Mom... Ellie seemed to be looking at her at times thinking: "Hmm, you sound like my mom but something is different..."

Monday, April 12, 2010

Road time wrap up

I couldn't resist this picture of the cup holders in my car... Ah, the joys of traveling with a baby!

I'm not sure if Ellie even recognized her room and crib by the time we arrived back home Saturday night. But I was sure happy to see my own bed!
We had an amazing adventure, capping off our trip to Minneapolis with a visit to Maggie, Chris and Jason, Genny, Ila and Izzy in Chicago this past weekend. Genny organized a trip for all of us to the Shedd Aquarium. And even though Ellie slept through much of it, she seemed excited to see the bigger fish and the penguins. It was a little tough to tell, though, because she spent a lot of time in dad's arms — where she was very happy! (Maybe her mom-phase is ending?) Brian missed Ellie a ton last week and had to give her extra love over the weekend :)

So, how was our trip?
It was great! I was so happy to get some dedicated time with my mom. I really enjoyed our long car rides because I got to hear some stories about her grandparents and parents, and my dad's family. And we had some good (heavy) talks about the stuff that doesn't come up in everyday conversation. And we had some major laughs, most notably when we tipped the stroller backwards from hanging too many clothes on it at the Mall of America! Ellie was already out and in my arms... but she didn't seem to mind when we did something similar upon checking in to our hotel because we had so much stuff to juggle. Ellie was unfazed :)
My visits home tend to be fairly chaotic (even more so with Ellie on the scene now), so I saw this trip as a good opportunity to spend a few quality days together. Though it was somewhat exhausting traveling with an 8-month-old! My mom and I spent a good portion of the trip just tending to Ellie's needs and schedule. It seemed, at times, like all we did was feed, change and allow for nap times... but such is life with a baby!
Without Brian there, I was so happy to have my mom on-hand to pitch in on all of the work it takes to care for Ellie. It was tough at the start of the week because Ellie didn't want anyone but mom to hold her... but she warmed to her grandma, aunts and uncles after some time. And I can't say enough about how well Ellie did with all of the car time and changing locations! She's a champ.

Sadly, my camera stopped working at the start of the trip. What's Ellie going to do without me as her constant paparazzi?!
I used my mom's camera to get pictures during the trip, but I don't have it with me to upload pics from the second half of our adventures... so I'll have to wait on getting those images. I do have some pics I took with my cell phone camera. They're not the best quality, but they'll do for now.
Grandma Jerrianne and Ellie checking out the penguins at the aquarium.
We squeezed in a visit with my friend Meghan while we were in Chicago. So good to see her!And here's a great picture of us with my friend Sarah while we were still in Rockford. Ellie is so lucky to have extra aunts!

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On a much more somber note: I'd like to ask for prayers for good friends of mine, Rob and Mary (Nutter) Anderson. They are dealing with the sudden loss of Rob's dad, and I can't stop thinking about their whole family. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Minnesota

Oh sure, you betcha. We had a great visit to Minnesota :)
Here's Ellie playing with some pretty cool tupperware at grandma's house before the big trip.

Candice and Ben enjoying some time with Ellie. The baby girl was pretty clingy to mom during the start of the week, but she warmed up to Uncle Ben and Aunt Candice after a few days... just before we had to leave. But I'm sure she'll be in a whole new phase of babyhood by the time we see them again. And she, of course, loves her aunts and uncles even when she's being a fusser :)
Here's Ellie and me in the food court at the Mall of America. Ellie's first major shopping trip was a lot of fun!
Grandma Jerrianne fed Ellie some lunch. She got veggie and fruit while we enjoyed some Johnny Rockets burgers. Yum!
Here's Ben, mom and I (with Ellie) at an Ethiopian restaurant in Minneapolis. It was super-delicious and a fun night out.

Candice and Ellie at the restaurant. Ellie was a big fan of chewing on the plastic tablecloth... mmm.

One afternoon we took Ellie to the science museum in St. Paul. She got to see her first Omnimax movie (called Arabia). She did great during the short film, switching between mom's and grandma's laps. What a big girl :)


And last, but not least, here's Ellie in the main room at City Hall where Ben and Candice will be married in October!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Travelin' Ellie

Ellie's car seat has gotten a lot of use the past few days! My mom, Ellie and I just got back from Minneapolis last night. She has been a champion traveler so far this week! On the drive up Saturday she slept the entire way (almost 5 hours!) and then she took a couple long naps on the return trip yesterday. Although she's protested at times about getting back in the car seat, I was so impressed with her flexibility during all of the sight-seeing and visiting. I have discovered that taking a vacation with a baby doesn't feel exactly like a vacation.... more on that later. But we have had so much fun getting to see family and the Twin Cities.
We're back in Rockford today. And we're decompressing a bit before heading to Chicago tomorrow to see Maggie, et al. More pictures to come!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

8 months

I (Brian) have been tasked with coming up with Ellie's 8-month Top 10 list.
In the past, this list has been somewhat difficult because Ellie was so little. But these days, it seems like it will be no time before we're adding "learning to drive" to this list. She's just growing up so fast.

So, without further ado, here is Eleanor Anne Wallheimer at 8 months:
  • 1. Putting things in her mouth: This isn't new to the list, but Ellie's reach has gotten better, and she's probably just weeks from being quite mobile. What was once just putting toys in her mouth has turned into near misses with dog toys and sometimes the dogs themselves. (Muzzy doesn't mind so much. She just kisses back.)
  • 2. Sleeping like a princess: Ellie has been heaven-sent in so many ways, but sleeping may be the one we're most thankful for sometimes. When Ellie starts rubbing her eyes at night, it's off to bath and a quick bottle and she's done for the day. We can lay her down, turn on some music and we usually don't hear a peep until morning. Jealous? Well, we know it may not last, and future children may not take after her. We'll take it while we can.
  • 3. Clapping: A recent post mentioned how we got Ellie clapping. Whether it's blocks to make noise or her hands, Ellie has gotten the hang of clapping and loves to do it whenever she isn't preoccupied by something else.
  • 4. Doing everything with table food but eating it: Earlier I said Ellie puts everything in her mouth, but one clear exception is food. She will play with Cheerios, pasta and slices of oranges for hours, but they'll never approach her mouth. Sometimes I wonder if my child wasn't mixed up at the hospital.
  • 5. Jumping: Ellie may be an Olympic jumper. It wouldn't shock me. Not only does she jump in her Jump-A-Roo in the doorway, she does it in the MegaSaucer, when we're holding her up, and sometimes when she's laying down (this is more kicking, but it's the same leg motion).
  • 6. Running: While mom or dad (mostly mom) has to do most of the hard work, Ellie is getting to enjoy a lot of this great weather we're having by getting out in the jogging stroller. Sometimes she naps, other times she kicks, and sometime she just watched the world pass by. What a life.
  • 7. Rolling over: Yes, we started watching for this at four months. But Ellie has really gotten the hang of it finally. She's great at going from tummy to back, and watching her roll is quite fun. Slowly, slowly, she starts to lean while holding herself in a sort-of pushup position, and after a few seconds of what seems like she'll never go, she tips and rolls. What a big girl!
  • 8. Being clingy: Yes, Ellie's going through a phase where she wants to be held a lot. She doesn't like to be left on the floor even if you're a few feet away in the next room. She's in a super-mommy phase, but she'll come around soon enough.
  • 9. Mimicking: It might be more impressive if Ellie mimicked us, but she loves to make noises and listen to mom or dad make the noise back at her. She always acts surprised at the noise from us, and usually this pushed her to make louder noises or longer yells. This game might never end if we didn't stop.
  • 10. And, saving the best for last Š Making fart noises: From birth, Ellie has been a gas machine. What baby isn't? But Ellie has learned recently to make farty noises with her mouth, blowing foamy bubbles and slobbering as she does them. Get her going and it's unlikely you'll get her to stop any time soon. This can be frustrating when she's eating, but it's too cute to let that bother us. If nothing else, Ellie will be the queen of fart jokes when she's older. She's got to be good at something!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mom and Ellie adventure

Ellie and I are leaving tonight for an adventure! We're headed on a spring break trip with my mom for all of next week. I'm very excited to get some dedicated mom and grandma time, though it's going to be hard to be away from Brian/dad!

Our plan is to head to Minneapolis from Saturday to Wednesday, to visit my younger brother (Ben) and then we're going to hit Chicago the second weekend for a visit with my sister (Maggie) and some cousins. The three of us will have a great time, I'm sure — though it remains to be seen how Ellie will do with all of the car time!
I'll try to get an update on here at some point next week, but probably won't be posting as often. Hope everyone has a Happy Easter!
Oh, and here's a sweet picture of Brian and Ellie from this morning. Sorry about the poor quality, it's from my phone camera. But you can see Ellie is wearing a skirt for the first time! What cuties :)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Outdoor dining


The weather has been so nice this week! We brought Ellie out to the deck last night to work on her finger food skills while enjoying some fresh air (and watching us plant some seeds ). She likes to scoot the Cheerios around her tray and pick them up, but Ellie still hasn't figured out putting them in her mouth yet. Silly girl.

And this is just another recent picture of Ellie in "mid-bounce." She's getting to be almost too heavy for the jump-a-roo. She's going to be very bummed when she graduates from it...