Friday, July 29, 2011

Early birthday

Next week Ellie will turn 2... but she got some early presents from my family members when we visited Rockford this past weekend to also celebrate my sister Maggie's wedding shower. Ellie got quite a haul of toy food for her kitchenette, the Tag Jr. reading system from Leapfrog and clothes. Thanks everyone!
Cousin Mason was happy to help open the presents...
And dad was willing to model the cutie-pie chef's hat Ellie got from Aunt Maggie. It has a matching apron and pot holders, too!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ellie doing ... well ... something

Brian here.

Here's a video of Ellie having some sort so spasm. Not sure what it is, but she thinks it's quite funny.

Once, she said Muzzy does this, so my mother is convinced this is an impression of Muzzy stretching on the floor. If so, she's great at impressions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Week 12: Lime*

Baby #2 is the size of a lime this week! I've been feeling better every day, in terms of less nausea and more energy. It's such a welcome relief. Less welcome is that most of my pants don't fit anymore, but with as hot as it's been I'm mostly wearing comfy dresses these days anyway.
Other news on the baby this week:

Your baby's fingers will soon begin to open and close, his toes will curl, his eye muscles will clench, and his mouth will make sucking movements. In fact, if you prod your abdomen, your baby will squirm in response, although you won't be able to feel it. ... His face looks unquestionably human: His eyes have moved from the sides to the front of his head, and his ears are right where they should be. From crown to rump, your baby-to-be is just over 2 inches long (about the size of a lime) and weighs half an ounce.

Definitely glad to hear the eyes and ears are where they're supposed to be now!

*The website where I get the baby updates generically switches back and forth between "he" and "she" ... so the references made above don't mean we're having a boy. Sorry for any confusion ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Braving the heat

It's been unbearably hot this week. But one night Ellie talked us into a few minutes outdoors after dinner. She kept asking for an "ooonge," which is her name for a popsicle ever since she had an orange one. They're all "ooonge." Even this purple one which she was wearing half of by the time she finished. In her defense, the popsicle started melting as soon as it heard we were going outdoors.
Since she was already messy, we figured why not add some soapy bubble mixture to the fray. She loves to blow bubbles and has even gotten pretty good at producing some through the wand. She does put the stick right up to her mouth, however, so she winds up eating a healthy amount as well. Brian said she even blew one with just her mouth one time as she said the word "Muzzy!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On the lake

We were lucky enough this past weekend to get to visit our friend Rob and Mary's vacation house right on Lake Michigan. They've got a beautiful place and it's literally just a couple minute walk out onto the beach. Ellie was fearless in the waves and loved playing in the sand. I didn't take nearly enough pictures because I was hesitant to take the camera near the water or into the sand... but I got a few shots when we trekked out onto the boardwalk.
Here's Ellie carrying Rob and Nutter's daughter, Rosalie. She and Ellie are about 5 months apart in age and had some good fun playing together!

Here I am with Rosalie... I invited Ellie in, too, but she was being a pill.

Ellie and daddy looking out over the water...

And the walk back... when Ellie was refusing to hold mom's hand... Did I mention Ellie's being a pill recently? :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

From the start...

Even though we didn't make the pregnancy news public until a few days ago, I kept some notes from the past five weeks to share and preserve the earliest pregnancy memories. I didn't start the blog until week 13 of my pregnancy with Ellie, so I wanted to get some of the early notes written down this time to look back on later.
It's Week 11 now and our baby is the size of a fig. Growing up a storm, as am I!

June 6 — Positive test! I had my suspicions... but there's nothing like seeing those two lines on the stick to really drive the point home. I smiled and cried. Brian smiled and hugged. We're so excited, and just a little bit terrified, to be launching on this whole journey again!

June 10 — I put on my casual Friday jeans for work this morning and got an unpleasant surprise... They felt snug. I'm not even in week 6 yet and this is already happening? The number on the scale is still the same, but my hips have hurt all week. So I can only assume the "transition" into pregnancy wide-load structure is already beginning in my body. But I am vowing to avoid my hang-up on weight and size as much as possible this pregnancy. That's right, it's a vow. I'm also going to try to be healthy in eating and exercising the whole darn time... but the anxiety I had last time around with weight gain and pants size is senseless. Pregnant women must gain weight and wear bigger clothes and waddle at some point. I'll get my body back at some point. And that's a promise, too.

June 18 — This week I remembered some of the other "joys" of early pregnancy... raging hormones, acne, nausea and utter exhaustion. I actually took a short nap one afternoon, which forced me to finish my newspaper work later in the evening, but I honestly couldn't keep my eyes open. At least in this second pregnancy I know that things can and should get better as things progress. There's that joyous second trimester looming on the horizon (well, still a ways off, but I can still look forward to it!). At that point I should feel more comfortable and also get to start feeling the baby kick and move. I loved that part when I was carrying Ellie! So, I'm trying to focus on the positive. This pregnancy stuff is so worth it in the end!

July 1 — If I thought I was exhausted a few weeks back... I was mistaken. This week was all about feeling weak on my feet, lightheaded and totally sluggish. I also was hit hard by food aversions. I remember from the last pregnancy, too, that I seem to get turned off by foods more than having weird cravings. This past week I was off pretty much all meat, most vegetables and other random items. The thought of broccoli or cauliflower literally turns my stomach. I also can't bear the thought of any beans, which is insane since I have made these a major staple in my diet over the past year.
I am loving dairy right now — ice cream, milk, cheese... bring it on! And I'm doing OK with many fruits, which I'm glad to have for helping balance out my otherwise carbo-loaded diet. One of the weirder cravings I have had: I only want to eat an apple if I can get some carmel sauce (which I haven't actually purchased yet... but it sounds so good!)
I guess I'm eating enough, though, because some of my pants are getting uncomfortable. I'm definitely noticing some belly-roundness here in week 8. But I laugh looking back at old posts and remembering how "huge" I thought I was early in my first pregnancy... when I actually had no idea what was yet to come in months 8 and 9!

July 2 — OK, so maybe I'm getting some cravings. I heard a co-worked mention the words "Taco Bell" yesterday, and I almost left the office right then to go get some nachos. However, Brian reminded me when I started begging to go to dinner there that I'm always disappointed by whatever I order there. So I was able to sideline my desire for cheesy, nacho-y goodness until today after a trip to the grocery store for supplies. My oven baked nachos with fresh cheddar, salsa, refried beans (which I was able to sneak in somehow), avocado and sour cream were awesome! And probably a bit healthier for me... although it's still nachos. But I went for a 4 mile run this morning and I'm letting myself (for the most part) eat what I need to to get through this yucky first trimester.

July 4 — Worst. July 4th. Ever. I was SO sick all day and had to spend much of it in bed. Luckily Brian and Ellie took good care of me. I was feeling a bit better by the evening, which was just in time for the neighbors on all sides to start shooting off rockets and totally freak Ellie out. None of us got much sleep, which didn't help matters.

July 12 — I've been feeling a little bit better/less sick every day this past week. More foods (and even some vegetables!) are sounding good. It's encouraging. I'm still battling the exhaustion. No amount of sleep is enough and it's absolutely brutal getting out of bed at 5 a.m. each weekday for work. I'm basically living for the weekends, when even sleeping in until 7 feels like Christmas. On a less-complaining note... sorry... I'm super excited to go to my first doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon. Even though we couldn't hear the heartbeat at the first visit with Ellie, I'm still hopefully the doctor will pick something up on the monitor. Most importantly, though, I just want her reassurance that everything looks good!

July 13 — Doctor's appointment went great. Dr. George is so reassuring and fun. We didn't get to hear the heartbeat, despite lots of prodding :( But that's OK. I'm sure we'll catch up with him/her at the next appointment in August. Still great to get some official affirmation from doc!

Monday, July 18, 2011

This week's column

(Sorry I haven't been good about posting the weekly Hitched column that Brian and I write in the newspaper here... but this is the one from this past Sunday... big news!)

Hitched: Baby news just as exciting second time around


Friday, July 15, 2011

Grocery shopping

Brian, Ellie and I walked to the grocery store to get a few extra supplies last night for our weekend trip to Michigan with friends. Ellie rode in the wagon and then decided to help us fill it once we got to the store.
Apparently this was her grocery list:
-1 lb. strawberries
-1 box crackers
-1 bag pork rinds
-8 bags of cheese balls

...we put almost everything she chose back on the shelves... but we appreciate her enthusiasm :)

Fighting fires

Brian recently got this shot of Ellie in the classroom's firefighter jacket. I'd trust her to save our house!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Picnic party

We found this picnic table on clearance for $16 at the grocery store the other day! Brian put it together after Ellie was asleep on Monday night... and apparently she flipped for it when he brought her down the next morning. Since then she's taking all her snacks there and even having a party with "the triplets"... i.e. her three babies that she has to have in tow almost anywhere she goes.
Say cheese! (Even though it was graham crackers for snack). I think she's going to be sad once we get around to moving the picnic table outside. But it will come in great for the backyard birthday party we have planned for her in a few weeks.
Here's Ellie taking a short break from the picnic table to sit on dad, with all her babies :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sprinkler mayhem

On our visit to Rockford this past weekend for a friend's wedding, Ellie got to play in a pretty cool sprinkler with her cousin Mason.
I think here they're either squaring off or each trying to stay just out of the sprinkler's reach. They had lots of fun together!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Pool jumping

All three of us made it over to the pool one hot night this week, which freed me up to risk taking some pics and video of Ellie in the water — despite the water splashing everywhere. It's a short one, but enjoy!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Play games, all sorts

Much to my own surprise, I let Ellie go on one of the kiddie rides at the park a few days ago. I'm not a big fan of the automated rides, and the helicopters made me nervous because some of them go up in the air at an angle. But, of course, that's the one Ellie HAD to ride on. The operator told me small kids were OK on it, and I was finally sold when I found out the kids have to move the bar on their own to raise the seat... which Ellie was not about to do. So after I strapped her in tight (seriously, I went back and loosened the strap a bit when I feared she couldn't breathe...) Ellie was off. And she loved it. And it was super cute. And we'll probably be riding the copters again soon.
Ellie is also getting into playing dress-up. Her favorite is when mom makes her a blanket or beach towel "dress," even though it comes undone pretty quick with all her running around. I also found her trying to put on her pajamas over her clothes today when she woke up from nap. And the other day she had her doll's shirt on her arm when we went in. Silly baby.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Feeling unpatriotic

Brian, Ellie and I are still trying to recover from July 4th. Neighbors on all sides, it seems, got some cannon-sized fireworks and set them off all day and night on the holiday.
I'm normally a big fan of the Fourth of July... and I'm sure Ellie will love it and the fireworks some day, too. But this was not the year for that.
During the day, Ellie and Brian went for a walk and saw some neighbors shooting off a small sidewalk fireworks display. Ellie acted scared at first, but then immediately said "please?" when the pops and fizzes stopped. That part was pretty funny. But throughout the late afternoon hours Ellie seemed to get more and more nervous when we'd hear a nearby blast. She only got about an hour's worth of sleep in Monday night before the real explosions started in our neighborhood. From then on we spent most of the evening trying to calm her down and get her back to sleep. After about a dozen trips into her room to give hugs and read stories, I finally brought her into our bed where she'd feel safer.
She calmed down enough to lay with mom and dad in bed, but wasn't too interested in sleep since this was some place new and different. Close to midnight, when Ellie's head was digging into my collar bone and she was periodically kicking Brian in the face, we put her back to bed. I guess she was exhausted enough at that point to ignore the remaining firework sounds.
Brian and I vowed to go to Canada next 4th of July and then promptly passed out.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

23 months

Time for some bragging about our little girl, who's becoming more of a big girl every day.
Today she turns 23 months! Just one month left until we have a two year old daughter... and I may lose it.
I mean, look at this little baby to the right (who I'd already thought at the time had rushed way too fast through her first five months). There's no more pureed food or bottles or middle-of-the-night crying. Also gone are the days of neutral baby poop and no morning breath.
Less than a year ago Ellie wasn't even walking yet. Now she's running and jumping and trying to do headstands. Less than a year ago Ellie's vocabulary was almost non-existent. Now she chimes in on almost any decision.
What would you like for breakfast? Cheese!
What should we do this afternoon? Outside! Bus! Slide! Bike!
What should we have for dinner? Noodles!
Some of her favorite phrases are "no, mommy" and "no, daddy"... and she uses them frequently if either of us tries to help too much in an activity she wants to master on her own. (Or, often, if we're trying to steer her away from something she's not supposed to be doing.)
Even though it's sometimes exhausting lugging this almost-two-year-old around, I'm grateful she stills comes up and says "up?" and wants to cuddle — at least sometimes. Her periods of sitting still are far fewer than when she was five months old. But Brian and I are having so much fun watching and teacher her through this current phase. We love you, Ellie!(Here she is looking out over the world she plans to conquer, from the top of the Nebraska capitol building on our recent trip.)

Friday, July 1, 2011


Everybody loves a parade? Well, Ellie wasn't quite sold on the one that marched through the halls of her daycare today. Brian and I were able to head over there and join in the fun... but then Ellie wanted "up" instead of walking with her friends. She had fun at the indoor picnic we all had afterward (since it was raining). Happy 4th to all!