Monday, February 28, 2011

Funny/mean pics

The dogs have regressed recently and started treating Ellie's toys as their own. All of us (Ellie included, or especially) have had to remind them to leave those stuffed animals alone! I couldn't resist snapping a picture of Radar caught in the act the other day, though. This monkey he was playing with has magnets in the hands and feet, so when I yelled at him to put it down he couldn't. It was stuck to the tags on his collar!
And Brian caught this attractive shot of Ellie the other morning. She often asks for "more" right after we set crackers or other food right in front of her. We explain that she has to eat what she has first... so then she'll shove it all in as quickly as possible and repeat her request. Tricky girl!


Here's a fun one to start the week: Ellie practicing throws with her daddy. She's pretty good at it, despite her need in this video to run the ball all the way back to Brian!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New 'do

As requested, here's a couple more pictures showing off Ellie's stylish new hairdo. The bangs are so cute (not that I'm biased...)
And she still rocks the pony tails most days, but it's nice when the front stuff comes out that it's not all hanging in her eyes. Oh, and she was most interested in eating the sidewalk chalk I bought for us to play with the other day. Oh well.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

18 month stats

Just got back from Ellie's 18-month check-up... which is a few weeks overdue. Doc gave her great reviews! We decided to switch from Dr. Miller to Dr. Woods in the same office, mostly because Dr. Miller is so busy that it's been hard to get into see her for sick appointments. Ellie has seen Dr. Woods more often in the last six months anyway, so we felt like she actually has a better baseline on Ellie's health at this point. Plus, Dr. Miller's friendliness (while a good quality in theory) caused her to get so behind on appointments that we would wind up waiting for an hour or more at every appointment. I was thrilled to be in and out of the office today in less than 45 minutes.
Ellie weighs 24 lbs, 8 oz, which keeps her on the 50th percentile growth line that she's been on for awhile now. She is 32.75 inches tall, which is in the 75th percentile. I knew she seemed tall!
I asked about turning her car seat around, since she often seems so scrunched up especially on long car trips... but was told that the latest studies still recommend backward facing until 2 years old. Not what Brian and I wanted to hear, but we also respect the science... I guess.
We did get the green light to give her peanut butter. It's been the only remaining forbidden food from her diet. We're pretty sure she'll love it since she chows down whenever we give her almond butter. Plus, it'll be nice to have another protein option for meal times.
Other than that, Dr. Woods said she seems to be developing great. I'm feeling much better about her verbal skills. As Brian kept reminding me, she seems to branch out in these spurts. She's picked up some new words in just the past week, and it's become clear how much of what we say she understands. If we ask if she's ready for bath, she'll grab my finger and pull me to the bottom of the stairs ready to go up to the bathroom. If I offer her options for dinner, she'll say "uh-uh" through several until she hears the one she wants and laughs in agreement. She knows which objects to retrieve if we ask for them, points to many body parts when asked, makes the motions for "row, row your boat" and other songs.... etc. Basically, she's our brilliant little baby and I am feeling more chill :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Frustrated much?

This is Ellie's reaction recently when her games/projects don't go according to plan...

I'm trying to work with her on the concept of patience and "try again," but it's definitely an uphill battle.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Playing around

These are a few weeks old, but some fun ones of Ellie enjoying life. She likes to put anything and everything in Muzzy's dog crate. Here it's her babies... but we often find the dog food dishes, blocks, bones and cups. Good thing Muzzy's a small dog because it can get crowded!
And here we had to teach Ellie the "no feet on the counter" rule. We learned not to let her use a glass plate... but unfortunately not until after she broke this one from Haley and Dusty's set. Oops.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Ready for Brian's return

Don't get me wrong, Ellie and I have had a lot of fun the past five days... but I'm ready to return to a two-parent household. I've said to a couple friends this week, "I don't know how single parents do this." Honestly. This has been an exhausting week as the sole caregiver, compounded by the fact that I was finishing up a monster assignment at work. I definitely relaxed my standards around the house during Brian's absence. Case in point: when Ellie unrolled the entire role of TP from our bathroom on Thursday... I did not spend the extra time haphazardly re-rolling it onto the cardboard thingy. I wadded it all up on the counter and proceeded to use it from there, as needed. (Sorry for the TMI ;)
Another small example of the unexpected tumult of being the only parent arose when we ran out of dog food on Thursday morning. That's right, we actually have three "kids" in this household. And Radar and Muzzy weren't keen on the idea of a crash diet. Instead of making Brian stop on his way home from work, Ellie and I had to set off to Sams Club. We had fun doing cart rides around the store and getting free yogurt samples. But when it came time to wrestle the 50-pound bag of dog food into the cart... and later out of the cart and into the car, it was less enjoyable. Ellie enjoyed the show while I strained and almost split the bag open in the middle of the parking lot. But we managed!
A couple other gems:
  • As I carried in 10 grocery bags on Saturday, I let Ellie roam for a minute in the backyard. When I came back outside, I found her on her hands and knees in the grass, literally shoving handfuls of mud into her mouth. I'm hoping and choosing to believe it was super-clean mud. Even after wiping her mouth out, she had dirt stuck in her teeth. Brian's question to me after this story was: "Did you get any pictures?" No, sorry.
  • Also enjoyable was when she flipped her bowl of cheerios with milk on the dining room table so she could smack her hands into the mess. There was milk everywhere, including in the cracks of the table. I'm sure my mom and siblings are horrified, even from afar.
In addition to her antics, Ellie and I covered a lot of ground the past few days. Grocery shopping for the week, getting her haircut, shopping (i.e. running around) at Wal-Mart, drawing with sidewalk chalk, playing at the park, covering a combined 12+ miles of running (her in the stroller, me pushing), shopping and playing at the mall, and some yet-to-be-determined fun this afternoon when she wakes up from nap.
As you can tell, Ellie is back to her fireball self this weekend. The lab tests haven't turned up any signs of infection, it sounds like Ellie is officially in the clear. And I'm officially ready to hand her off to her dad when he returns tonight. Well, until she runs toward me with her arms outstretched reaching for a hug and then forcing a wet kiss on me. I'm never too tired or stressed for that.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

First haircut!

and after!
What a cutie pie with her new bangs. She was a trooper for her first haircut. Only a few tears, but now she won't have hair in her eyes all the time. Our big girl :)

Visit from the neighbors

These are pics from even before our trip to Nashville, but I've gotten behind.
We got to enjoy a visit from our old neighbors, Ben and Janet along with their beautiful sons Isaac and Micah. They just brought Micah home from Ethiopia in December, and he is so precious. It's fun watching our kids grow up "together," even though most of our contact these days is through blogs! We miss those guys, but were thrilled to get to spend an evening together :)

Nashville pics

Here are some pictures from our trip to Nashville last weekend. We had a great visit with Uncle Carl, Aunt Carol and my grandma. This is from our walk to the park near Carl's house.
Carl and Carol.
Ellie trying fried chicken at my grandma's birthday dinner party.
Us with grandma, my dad's mom, who was celebrating her 88th birthday. It was so nice to see grandma, and she really enjoyed Ellie's antics.
Opening cards and presents!
And my favorite: Brian and Ellie checking Uncle Carl's nose to see if it beeps.

Friday, February 18, 2011

On the mend

Just a quick note to say that Ellie is doing SO much better. She ate a ton for dinner, has had some super wet diapers. I'm sure all you readers love the diaper updates... sorry :)
The final results of Ellie's lab tests at the doc won't be in until Sunday, but they said so far there's no sign of bacterial growth. So I guess all the trouble earlier this week was just one of the mystery viruses or stomach bugs. I'm just glad she seems to be nearing the end of it.
Thanks to everyone for thinking of us!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Operation Rehydrate

Water, milk and grape pedialyte options = good dinner options for Ellie. I don't expect to see a dry diaper tonight after this drink buffet! Oh, and she also was perkier and ate some peas and cheerios with milk. Great recovery night.

Bladder infection?

Poor Ellie is still battling something. I fear it's a bladder infection, so we went to the doctor Wednesday afternoon. That was a rough visit. To find out if it's her bladder, the doctor needed a urine sample — which meant using a catheter. By the end of the procedure Ellie was red faced, screaming and I had tears running down my face. I couldn't help it. What a nightmare to see her in so much pain and not understanding what was going on. The difficulty of the test was compounded by the fact that Ellie is dehydrated and not willing to eat or drink much.
The sample had to go to the lab, with results due back this morning. Unfortunately, when I called this morning, the office said they need to do further testing on some of the bacteria they found... so now we're in limbo again until tomorrow morning. At least the nurse gave me some advice on getting Ellie to drink more. I was not pleased to find her diaper nearly dry this morning (after almost 12 hours in bed). Between daycare and at home, we'll be offering her drinks every hour. And I'll try some jello and popsicles later, too.
The silver lining in all this is that Ellie is acting happy and like herself at times. This morning I even got some "peek-a-boo" smiles from her while getting her dressed. I keep reminding her (and myself) that we'll get through this.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Only time today for a brief post. Ellie sleeps with her pillow pet these days, and actually uses it as a pillow for part of the night before inevitably rolling off and nestling into a crevice somewhere. She was face down with her butt sticking up when I found her this morning, but she rolled over a little before I could get the picture.
I had to wake her up early today to drop her at daycare as I headed to work at 6 a.m. Couldn't resist snapping this shot of her sleeping peacefully first. Ellie's still not acting like herself and we're likely headed to the doctor this afternoon. She and I are both missing Brian while he's in D.C. this week — but we're hoping the next few days fly by!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine fail

Before I recount our wonderful weekend in Nashville visiting my uncle, aunt and grandma... I have to share this horror story of the Wallheimer family Valentine's Eve/Day. (*Note, this is a somewhat disgusting story. Fair warning for those without small children or with a weak stomach.)

On our way back from Tennessee, we decided to stop in southern Indiana to break up the drive and have some fun. I took Monday off as one of my unpaid furlough days from work, and Brian used a vacation day so we could extend the weekend.
We had planned on finding a cheap hotel. But an online deal popped up last week for this beautiful bed & breakfast near the Hoosier National Forest, right outside of Louisville. It was going to be the same price as the hotel we were looking at, so we decided to go that route instead. My thinking was that instead of all going to bed at 7 p.m. when Ellie was ready to sleep, Brian and I could set up her monitor and go down to the living room at the bottom of the stairs and enjoy a glass of wine and some relaxation. I had no grand ideas of a romantic getaway with our 18-month-old in tow... but I thought we could get a little time together while she snoozed.

I could not have been more wrong.

Ellie was a little out of sorts for much of Sunday. We thought she was just sick of traveling and tried to make some extra stops along our trip, getting her out of the car and enjoying the spring-like weather. (It was 50 degrees!! Felt like the tropics to us!) At dinner we were concerned when she wouldn't eat any of her usual favorites. We ordered corn, broccoli, pasta and mashed potatoes. But she didn't want any of it. At bedtime she would only eat a couple bites of her yogurt. Still, we know there are nights where she's just not that hungry.

So we tried to lay her down in the pack-and-play we'd set up. She slept in it for 12 hours straight the night before at my uncle's house... but she absolutely refused to lay down in it here and screamed every time we tried. This was a major problem since the walls were thin, the halls were echo-y and we assumed other guests were trying to enjoy a Valentine's getaway. After two hours of reading stories, rocking Ellie and failing at laying her down... we finally gave up around 9:30 p.m. and all crawled into the queen size bed.

For some reason Ellie wanted to lay with her head facing toward the foot of the bed, but we didn't care at that point as long as she slept. I heard her whimper and cry a little every hour or so, but she kept falling back asleep. At 2 a.m. when she stirred, Brian decided to try and move her to her own bed where she would likely sleep better. She promptly puked all over his shoulder and chest.

I got her in the tub where she threw up a few more times. Then we washed her off and cuddled her back to sleep with us in bed. Then around 6 a.m. Brian smelled something bad... Hoping that Ellie had just had gas, and since she wasn't stirring at all, we let her sleep. About an hour later the smell was worse and when I went to investigate... we discovered Ellie had had diarrhea through her diaper, through the jammies... sheet... and mattress pad. Oh boy. Back to the tub we went.

After her third bath in 12 hours, Ellie seemed to be in better spirits. We slunk downstairs for breakfast and tried not to make eye contact with any of the other guests. There were two tables set up for breakfast and shockingly nobody sat with the three of us. I told Brian later, "If I wasn't so cheap, I would have insisted we just leave before breakfast."

After breakfast we were still intent on trying to salvage the visit. We put on some running clothes and pulled the baby jogger out of the car. Since we were staying in such a scenic part of the state, we wanted to explore a little. We didn't take into account, however, the 30 mph winds that morning... which made the 48 degree temps feel like 35 and made the stroller near impossible to push. After battling up a few of the incredibly steep hills surrounding the inn, we switched from running to walking and stuck it out for a few more minutes.

Finally we showered, packed our things and slunk out of the inn (after Brian mentioned the bedding issue to staff). I'm pretty sure we can never go back.

In retrospect I feel dumb that we tried to take a toddler to an inn like this... especially on Valentine's weekend. But Ellie is usually such a good and consistent sleeper. This was such an anomaly... a horrible, horrible fluke of travel angst and illness. Live and learn, I guess. But if any Leavenworth Inn guests are reading this — we're sorry.

Good news (for us) is that Ellie got her appetite back by last night. She slept like an angel back in her own bed. And Brian and I enjoyed that Valentine's Day wine and relaxation together back in our own living room.

Friday, February 11, 2011

My stylist

Ellie is quite the hair stylist these days, thanks to this pick we recently found leftover from my perm days... Those pictures will not be forthcoming...
But here's a fun video to make you smile this Friday.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Super Sunday

I know, I'm a couple days late on this post... but we're all still riding high from the Packers victory in the Super Bowl!!! What a night!
We started the evening getting decked out in green and gold. I found this way-too-big football shirt at Walmart and it just happened to have #80 on, so Ellie decided to show her spirit for Donald Driver. Hope he sticks with the Packers because she's going to wearing this shirt for several seasons since it's a Boys size 4-5. We tied it up '80s-style so that it didn't get in her way as much :)
Ellie and mom getting psyched for the game!
Brian and Radar, also getting their game faces on!
Our friends Haley and Dusty... cheering for the Packers whether they wanted to or not!
VICTORY!!!!!! Enjoying our win a little bit too late into the night....
And Brian forcing our friend Nick to celebrate, even though he wouldn't wear the Cheesehead. Boo! (Plus this is a nice shot of Brian's butt. hehe.)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Open gym time

We recently found out about a gymnastics club in town that offers open gym to kids as young as Ellie. I was anxious to try it out, but dismayed that the Saturday slot was from 11 a.m. to noon... when Ellie is usually either eating lunch or already headed down for nap time. Well, last weekend the stars aligned and she slept in till after 9 a.m. on Saturday. Not only was this AWESOME for mom and dad, but it meant we could go check out the gym without fear that she would fall asleep halfway through.
This place is amazing. This pic was in a huge (swimming pool-sized) pit filled with huge foam blocks. There's a rope swing above where older kids (and some of the dads) can ride out and then fall into the pit. Ellie's not quite there yet, but she did enjoy the pit despite her uncertain look in the picture below. We explored the beginner balance beam...
And then Ellie decided she was ready for something more advanced. Just kidding.
She crawled through a tunnel!
And even bounced a bit on this trampoline. What a fun morning!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Daddy-Daughter Days!

So, Purdue closed for two days and Ellie and I got some great time together. I've been planning to use some of my stored-up vacation time to do this sort of thing, but Mother Nature saved me the days and gave me the opportunity.
First, watching an 18-month-old for an entire day is serious work. That child never stops, except to occasionally lie down and suck her thumb, which apparently gives her super powers to go even crazier when she gets back up. It's also possible that she got a little sugared up from waffles each morning, which she now refuses to eat without ample amounts of syrup to dip them in.
For the most part, we played baby games. Dump out the blocks, stack them on something, put them away. We stared out windows at the snow and plows (she learned how to say "outside from this). And we terrorized the dogs by pulling their ears and tails as they slept. The last one was more Ellie than me, but I can't say I'm completely innocent on that one.
But my favorites were learning how to dance and playing the nose game.
Ellie often throws her hands up asking to be picked up. Tuesday, I grabbed them and started swaying with her to the music from the radio. She eventually stepped onto my feet and we gracefully swept around the room. It was like every movie or television show where a little girl learns to dance. She stepped on my feet and stared at the floor. When I told her to look up, she grinned from ear to ear. Later, I held her and grabbed one of her hands and spun until I thought I might collapse. Ellie shrieked with laughter, and when I put her down, almost collapsed herself from dizziness.
Finally, we played our usual game of nose beeping. Ellie pressed my noise, and in my deepest voice, I let out a beep. But once, I decided not to beep. After several more presses, Ellie did it for me. It's the cutest little "beeeeeeeeeee" you ever heard. And now, when I press hers, she beeps herself.
Back to work today, but I had a blast. I envision those vacation days going to great use this spring.

p.s. (from Dorothy) Here's a video of our brilliant daughter showing mom what she learned in her time with daddy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Dishwasher = bath?

Ellie decided her babies and her full sippy cup needed washing the other day, so she decided to load them into the dishwasher.
"What's the problem?"