Thursday, September 30, 2010

That glint

Ellie definitely has that glint in her eye that lets us know we're in trouble! As she's becoming increasingly mobile and all-around capable... Ellie is also becoming more than a handful. She's more like an armful. Or maybe a wheelbarrow-full :)
But as mischievous as she is sometimes, it's hard not to laugh when Ellie pulls some of her antics.
It's hard to put all of down on paper (or screen...) but a few examples:
  • When Ellie sees that we forgot to put the dog water dish up while she's playing in the downstairs. She can spot that sucker across two rooms and will immediately start heading that direction. Once we realize where she's headed, we'll call out to her. She'll stop briefly, turn around and give a big smile... before resuming her pursuit of the "splash-and-play pool" at a much fast rate of speed.
  • Mealtimes are a little less funny and a lot more frustrating. There is no rhyme or reason to her likes and dislikes these days. She'll love something one day and then throw it all on the floor the next. Even her beloved strawberries have fallen to the wayside at times. And tonight she would have nothing to do with sweet potatoes! I think she ate those for every meal for a month at one point when she was younger! Argh...
  • I thought her "put everything in her mouth" phase was bad when she was younger. But now that she's covering more ground the things that find a way into her mouth are a bit more worrisome... rocks, hair bands, mulch, dog bones. If only some more of her dinner could find its way in.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Little monkey

Not only is Ellie climbing on everything these days... she loves bananas.
What more proof do we need?
I just love this series of pictures I got yesterday. Ellie especially likes a banana when she gets to hold onto it and eat it herself, like the big girl that she is.
"Yum! Even better than I remember!"
"Nom, nom, nom..."

Thursday, September 23, 2010

What a difference...

... a year makes.
I'm celebrating my second birthday as a mom today. Turning 29 isn't really a big deal for me -- even though Brian made sure to point out this morning that it puts me that much closer to 30. Thanks, hon. It's OK, though, because he got up early to make me waffles for breakfast (and I mean EARLY, since he had to do it before my 6 a.m. shift started!) Yay for a great husband!
Now I'm back at home, about to hit my last couple hours of work while Ellie naps. I had to go back and check the blog from last September around my birthday, because it really feels like it's been more than a year. On my birthday last year I was still home on maternity leave and trying to figure out a very colicky 7-week-old baby. My excitement then was about how Ellie waited until after dinner to start crying, and how we had to take her out for a bumpy stroller ride in the park to soothe her.
Today I picked her up from daycare, she fell asleep on the way home and then cuddled me on the trip into the house. I laid her down upstairs and she was settled in for her nap. Lord help me for saying this, but I expect tonight will run about the same. She eats dinner around 5 or 5:30 and starts bath an hour later. By 7 she's usually down for the night and we don't hear from Ellie until almost 7 a.m. the next day.
I know now that we've got a freakishly wonderful sleeper now, but I can remember how uncertain everything was a year ago. I didn't know how each day was going to go with her, let alone the nights... and I had no idea how I'd handle the return to work just a few weeks after my birthday. Somehow it all worked out. I can truly say I'm another year older AND wiser this birthday.
I don't care if it makes me old. Tonight I'm just looking forward to kissing my baby girl good night, enjoying a birthday dinner of beef stroganoff (ala my dad's tradition for me), finishing it off with a big piece of pistaccio torte and relaxing on the couch with Brian. Oh, and did I mention the bottle of Zinfandel set aside for the evening? Sounds to me like a recipe for a fabulous birthday.
And while I'm so grateful for the wonderful birthday wishes flooding in today (thanks, Facebook friends!), I want to extend my thanks for all of you for the support and love during this past year. I have the most amazing family and friends. I can't wait to see what this next year brings... even if it means crossing that final bridge to the big 3-0!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Week in review

Whew, I have let this last week get away from me!
Since I don't have time to rehash the entirety of the past 7 days, these highlights will have to do...

  • Visit from grandma! Brian's mom came up to visit us this past weekend and celebrate her 50th birthday a little early. She also watched Ellie for us on Saturday morning while Brian and I went to run our first race together in quite some time, without a jogging stroller that is. We had fun and really pushed ourselves in a 10k in a small town nearby. I had to work on Saturday, but Brian, grandma and Ellie had a great time hanging out in the afternoon, and cooked up some awesome food. The only downside was...
  • Food poisoning! Something that we ate over the weekend made the three adults seriously ill for the past few days. It hit Linda and I on Sunday night and then got Brian heading into Tuesday. We're not quite sure what to blame, but the only thing we all had that Ellie didn't eat was a cake from this bakery we visited in Brookston after the race... Ugh, whatever the culprit, it was bad news. Thankfully Ellie was spared and the rest of us are on the mend.
  • Walking, stooping, etc! Ellie is really getting the hang of this whole walking thing. She isn't taking off on her own yet, unless there's a finger or stationary object nearby to grab, but she's really got great balance once she does get going. And I am impressed at how well she can stoop down to pick things up -- important things, of course, like leaves and sticks off the ground, or puppy toys at the house. Who cares as long as she's mastering a new skill!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New toys

While Ellie's toys are rarely "new," she doesn't seem to care! This is a great hand-me-down play chair and nightstand set we got from awesome cousins Genny and Jason. It plays music and reads the book to Ellie. Very fun! The first day we had it out Ellie was glued to the thing for a good 15-30 minutes (which is like half a day in baby land...)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Our cheese niblet

Ellie got a super cool birthday present in the mail from friends Rob and Mary...
Meet the newest Cheesehead Junior!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Parenting points

I consider myself a few points ahead of Brian in the parenting department -- though I'm sure that will all reverse itself by tomorrow :)
I got home from work today and he said to me, "Ellie might smell like stale beer. Don't worry about it."
It turns out, Brian didn't spend the morning at a pub with our 13-month-old. But he did leave her be long enough for her to get into our recycling bin... where she pulled out a Coors Light can or two and spilled some drips on herself.
That's right. Our daughter plays in the trash/recycling sometimes. It's classy.
But I only claim parenting points for one reason... not because I'd never let Ellie get into the recycling and spill beer on herself... but because I'd wipe her down afterward and never speak of it! How's that for responsible?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

New reality

I was reminded a few times this weekend about the "new reality" of our lives as parents. Not that I'd want to, but there's definitely no turning back after starting a family. Ellie is the center of our universe in a million wonderful ways. And she's also the center of our social lives these days. By that I mean that we can't do anything without considering Ellie's needs above our own. And that's fine and what we wanted as parents... but it's taking some getting used to.
Brian and I turned into total home-bodies during Ellie's first year. It's just been easier, and cheaper, to stay in at night. But this past weekend we went to dinner at the houses of two different friends. It was a life-saver because our kitchen is destroyed right now while we replace some cabinets. Plus, it was really fun to get in some social time. That said, both evenings were very challenging where Ellie was concerned.
On Friday we took her pack-n-play with the hope that we could lay her down and relax during the evening with Nick and Abby. But the combination of Ellie's cold and the new surroundings was too much. She screamed for about 20 minutes before we gave up and brought her to the dinner table with us. We still had fun, but Ellie required some serious juggling during dinner and then didn't allow for much post-dinner visiting time.
On Saturday we went to a new friend's house -- one of Brian's co-workers and her husband -- and started the evening earlier. We couldn't arrange for a babysitter, and figured after Friday night that Ellie wouldn't allow for a late evening out. As expected, she was pretty fussy during our dinner with friends... but she did thoroughly enjoy when our hostess gave her a metal pot and wooden spoon to play with on the floor. We all had to talk a little louder at the table, but Ellie was content for about 20 minutes!
I guess we're doing OK with our parent-social life juggling act. But it's going to be a long time before we're able to "go out" without a lot of prep or a child tagging along. And that's OK... just different.
The final way that I was reminded of our parent status this weekend was when we pulled the trigger and used our long-saved credit card airline points to book flights to my younger brother's wedding in October. We're excited to go there, but I'd pictured us using the free flights for a more exotic trip at some point. We finally decided that a trip to California or even back to visit friends in New England is going to be nearly impossible for us to afford, schedule and execute at this point in our lives. And I'm not feeling sorry for myself. I love our lives right now and wouldn't trade Ellie for a trip around the world!
I'm sure we'll get those places eventually... and maybe we'll even make it through a whole dinner with friends even sooner without cries of protest from our bundle of joy :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Our trooper

Well, Ellie was diagnosed with a sinus infection today. The congestion/runny nose/cough that she's been dealing with the past couple weeks finally flared up into a fever of 103+ on Wednesday :( I took her to the doc today and although she couldn't find anything major wrong, she agreed that Ellie's nose shouldn't be a faucet for almost three weeks... and the fever was disconcerting. So she's on the bubble gum medicine now. Hope it works quick! We had a very sad last night waking up many times with nothing we could do for Ellie other than offer hugs. I actually stood in front of the fan and held her for a short time because she was burning up! It's a good thing she loves her grape Tylenol.

But beyond the sad sick-baby news, here is a very cute recent picture of Ellie. With the AC off recently and the doors open, Ellie is having a great time looking out at the world going by.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Labor Day weekend

In addition to her walking debut this past weekend, Ellie got some fun family time when we traveled to Rockford for my brother Ben's wedding shower. Here she is playing with her cousin Mason.
And giving a big high 5 to Aunt Maggie!
And enjoying some snacks with Maggie...
And then getting some wagon rides from dad (and mom!) on Sunday. We're going to have to get her a wagon of her own before too long. She had a great time!

She walks!

Ellie the walking wonder. Just as we had predicted, Ellie just up and decided to start walking this weekend. We had a feeling she had been holding out on us. But she finally let us in on her little secret. We're SO proud!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Excited Ellie

Here are a couple fun-Friday Ellie pictures! She is all about emptying the shoe rack in our back hall. Few things make her happier :) Here she is looking especially proud of herself.

And here Ellie is playing with a magazine delivered to "Ellie Wallheimer." Aunt Sandy and Uncle Jim gave her a gift subscription to this baby animal magazine for her birthday. It's very cute and Ellie is a big fan already!

I'm old

Yesterday I had my first of several visits to the dentist to deal with the 7 cavities that were found last week. Ugh!
I sat in the chair, all numbed up and felt very old and young at the same time. For some reason I always feel like a little kid when diagnosed with a cavity. Probably because I had so many when I was little... and also because I feel irresponsible, somehow, when a cavity is found. I kept telling the dentist and his staff that I do brush! And floss! Hopefully they believed me... But I only got three of the seven filled yesterday... so I'll be back in to make my case to them again soon.
So while I felt a little like an 8-year-old sitting in the dentist's chair, I also realized how old I am. I found myself looking around the ceiling and upper walls for Curious George riding a bike. That was one of the many toys my childhood dentist had decorating his office. I spent too much time looking up at those toys!
But of course my dentist now just has boring beige walls. No posters or pictures or stuffed animals to entertain while he drills away. Sigh.
Plus, he's practically the same age as me! Granted, my dentist when I was a kid was nearing retirement... so he was legitimately "old." But my new guy just graduated dental school in 1999 — when I finished high school! I felt like asking him to go get a beer with me and Brian sometime, but then worried he would tell me there's too much sugar in beer and not to drink it :)
The other part of "feeling old" on this dental trip hit when I had to pay. Ugh. I never realized how expensive my teeth issues must have been for my parents. I hope my dental bills stay in check in the future, so we can start paying for Ellie's visits at some point.
It's still weird sometimes when these "parent/adult" moments clobber me over the head. I wonder how old Ellie will be when I stop being surprised at times by this stuff?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hair stylin'

Ellie and I played beauty parlor the other day, but it apparently turned into "back to the 80s" event. Oh well. She's pretty :)