Friday, September 30, 2011

Walking on Two Legs!

As you can see, she is QUITE proud of herself. Grams picked up her new toy, and within minutes, she was cruising all over the house like a crazy person.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


She loves going up, but she can't get down.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Tunnel Vision.

So, good news first. I got the word about my car accident this afternoon, and it turns out that they found the other driver 100% liable for the accident, due to "failure to control her vehicle." It's funny - part of me was like, "yeah, screw you for lying and saying I hit you and then asked for money!" but part of me feels bad for her that she has to take all the blame. Even though it's totally her fault. Guilt complex! I was just worried because I was the rear car and a lot of times, that person is automatically at fault. I'm glad they figured out that on a hill, it's more likely that she accidentally stepped off the brake and rolled back than me accidentally revving it forward into the car in front of me. At the very least, everyone is safe and I've learned how what to do if I'm ever in an accident again (as in, don't say a damn word accept for hello and are you okay, and then call the cops so there is NO question of what happened.) Fingers crossed that I never have to put my new skills into use, right?

We had a great day with the knitters at Jill's house. Ellie loved seeing both big dog Henry, and little cat Rocket. The mother of Petunia and Rocky is very nice to Ellie, perhaps her bratty daughter could learn a thing or two!

Yesterday afternoon I tried out a Gymboree class with a group of local OC moms who had set up a play date at a new Gymboree location. I thought Elizabeth would like it, because she loved her tumbling classes. Yeah, no. She cried through a good portion of it. I think it's because the instructor had a VERY loud voice. I know he was trying to reach a group of toddlers, but he was hurting my ears, and I at least am an adult and know what's going on. I think she also knew he wasn't as cute as Mr. Jerry from our tumbling class. She's shallow, that kid.

She did have a few moments of fun though:
I am also pretty sure that there is nothing better in this world than watching your baby crawl to you when a huge smile on her face. That kid is an absolute doll.

Monday, September 26, 2011

End of an Era.

Well, after my last blog post, I looked again at the requirements for Ellie's carseat, and then I looked at my baby, and after a few minutes with a tape measure, I realized that she's right on the borderline for being too tall for her bucket seat. And considering that my measurement was an inexact science, I figured it was best to be on the safe side. So tonight while I was out on a walk with some girlfriends, Tim put our big girl carseat in the car.

I'm going to miss the bucket seat! It seemed so indulgent when I was registering for baby gear to get two car seats and two strollers, but the bucket car seat is a life saver. For one, when she was a tiny, floppy headed newborn, it was nice to be able to put the car seat on the floor and strap her in - it took me months to be able to put her in the car seat without removing it from the car. It's awesome for when your baby falls asleep in the car - just carry them in and set them in a quiet room and the nap can continue without interruption. And if they get sleepy at a party, you know you always have a place to put them safely to nap. It's going to be a whole new world! A world where I sit in garages to let Ellie finish her naps. Though, let's be honest, I've been known to just stay in the car now and sleep, because I'm too tired to leave the front seat.

So tomorrow when we leave for swim class, she'll be tucked in tight in her fabulous new car seat from her Grandma. We'll see how long it takes for her to squish some puffs into it and break it in.

We had a good weekend! Saturday night Tim and I hit the town, seeing Cabaret at the Freud at UCLA. I fell in love with the movie after seeing it a few years ago, and I was wondering how the play would be, and I was not disappointed. It was another fabulous production AND as we've continued to be season ticket holders over the years, our seats have improved. We went from being in Row H on the side to sitting dead center in Row G this season. Old people in the front row - I'm coming for your seats. I'm patient, I can wait.

Then on Sunday it was all football, all the time. Everyone is coming over to watch NFL Sunday Ticket and relax on our new couch, and I can't say that I blame them. I love having the company, Ellie loves having the audience, and Tim loves having people to drink beer with, since beer doesn't appeal to me very much any more (and no, I'm not pregnant again. Because when I was pregnant, beer smelled like magical unicorn glitter of deliciousness. Of course, now that I can have it again, I don't want it.)

Someday, these two may share a beer together. ONE BEER.

Friday, September 23, 2011


As some of you may know, I enjoy hanging out at my parents' house in the afternoon, especially when my mom invites me to stay for dinner (at which point my dad complains loudly.) First off, I like free dinner. Secondly, my mom is a way better cook than I am. And thirdly, one of my favorite things in the world is getting to see how much fun Ellie has with her grandparents, and how much fun they have with her.

Please to observe:

Here she is sharing ice cream with her Gramps (sorry for the bad lighting.)

From screaming for ice cream to screaming with joy - it's going to be very sad when Elizabeth outgrows her bucket seat, and Gramps can't carry her out like this.

Grams and Sara also got to give Ellie a bath. I cleaned up the kitchen during that time, because I feel like it's only fair that if you clean my baby's butt, I clean the kitchen.

Tomorrow Tim and I have a date night! But thankfully, we have all day to do things like this:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Big Baby Little Baby.

Today Ellie and I headed up to LA to bring lunch and a little love to my former coworker Emily, who is now the new mom of a beautiful three week old boy. It's funny how quickly time goes - when she handed me Liam, despite the fact that I had a newly borned less than a year ago, my first thought was "oh my god, I'm going to break him, why is she handing me something so delicate?" How fast one forgets. I missed that beautiful little newborn smell and cuddliness, though you could not pay me any amount of money to have a newborn Ellie again for any amount of time. I've paid my dues with that little naughty bean.

I'm so glad that my kid is the bigger one!

Today was also Emily's 30th birthday, so I brought her a cake. It was a good chance to try out the cake pan mom brought me from Minneapolis this summer (AND fit into her carry on, let me state. She's a packer extraordinare!) It's a giant cupcake cake!

Thanks to Pam with flour, the cake just fell right out of the pan afterwards. It did take twice as long to cook as a normal cake, but next time I'll know, and won't check the oven every 10 minutes for an hour.

As for Ellie, she seems to be racking up new tricks daily (but still no walking.) Her latest 'so cute it makes me want to squeal' trick is waving and saying bye bye (bah bah.) Sometimes, she waves towards herself, which is even cuter. She even does it in context, often waving and saying bye bye when I stick her in her carseat. She continues to laugh like a loon at just about everything we do, except when she's screeching because she's working on tooth #4, which looks like it's going to be her other fang on the top. She crawls like crazy, and will follow us around the house. This morning I let her jump in the shower, and Tim laughed when he turned and saw that she'd crawled out of the shower and was bringing the new musical revue "Buns on Parade" into the bedroom. In response, I made up a song called "Where is Buttkins?" to the tune of "Where is Thumbkin."

Monday, September 19, 2011

11 Months!

...and she just gets cuter every day. I couldn't even pick a favorite photo from our morning photo shoot.

Here she is on her "posing couch." I wonder if her head will be above the top of the back seat at 12 months!

The cutest little cute.

Not pictured: her fang tooth on the top

Pointing: a very popular past time at 11 months old. Also popular: the ever popular Sophie.

Friday, September 16, 2011

A Few Bumps.

We are having a day. It actually started pretty awesome - mom class, lunch with our friends, a quick trip to the mall for a new skirt (for me) and a trip to visit Daddy at work. And then I got in a (minor) car accident on the way home - this lady must have stepped off the brake while we were stopped a light on a hill, and all of a sudden she was on my hood. Exchanged information, thinking everything was good and we were being rational adults, and then she indicated that *I* hit *her*. Right. I gassed it up the hill into your car. Exactly. Or not - insurance will sort it out. But either way, because I had the baby in the car, and because I am a crazy mama bear, and because I am a stressball, I had adrenaline coursing through my body for a good two hours afterwards.

And then of course, Ellie refused to take the nap she should have been taking in the car when we got hit. I spent a good 90 minutes trying to nurse and rock her to sleep but nothing doing, and finally had to put her back in the car and drive her around for 15 minutes. She also fought me like crazy on going to sleep tonight. Baby sleep is such a hard thing. She's good once she's in bed and out, but getting her to fall soundly asleep takes so much work, both for naps and for bedtime, that sometimes I want to just go lay down in a ditch and give up. And knowing that all anyone will ever "helpfully" suggest is cry it out doesn't help, because we've done a little here and there and it's not an effective or healthy solution for our particular baby. It's nights like this that send me to Dr. Sears' website, where I read items about "your high needs baby" and feel like maybe I'm not totally insane. Now that she's half grown, Ellie is definitely what I would consider a "happy" baby, but she's not an easy one. She's my high needs girl.

Good thing she cracks me up, when she's not making me want to tear my hair.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

First Granddaughter.

Oh man. Sometimes I think to myself "even if we didn't for sure want to have a second child, we'd HAVE to have one, otherwise Ellie is going to be spoiled beyond words. She will be absolutely impossible, with the grandparents she's got."

Friday night, getting a little chocolate ice cream from her Gramps, in celebration of his birthday.

Sunday, she got to spend the afternoon with Grandma and Grandpa, including a lovely sunset cruise around East Lake.

I call this candid "Who's In Charge Here?" Grandpa is not even steering. Grandma is preparing to drink an adult beverage, and Ellie is staring off into the man-made depths of the lake. She LOVED boat time though, it was very cute.

Today, when we went over to Grams and Gramps' house, I went to the bathroom and came back and found this. Not pictured: our 30 minute soak in the hot tub, jets and all.

And of course, the truth is, she's not even half as spoiled as her lucky mommy. I don't know what I'd do without this village around helping me raise my child.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football?!?!

Oh what a night!

First off, turns out that going two years without visiting the dentist, being pregnant and then having a baby will cause you (ie me) to grow four tiny cavities. Blech. I had my first office visit in too long today. They said my teeth still look great, but such is what happens when another human being leaches nutrients from your bones. Thankfully, three of them will just require a little polishing and sealing. And after all of the screaming Ellie was doing this morning, the dental chair felt like a dang Club Med vacation.

Then on the way home, a lot of the street lights were out. Turns out, there's a pretty massive blackout through parts of Southern California and Arizona. The good news? My house still had power. The bad news? Mom and dad's doesn't, nor does Sara's apartment. Still, I came home, I turned on my AC, I hunkered down in front of my TV, and I told Dad he could come over to our house to watch the game. Poor mom and Sara tried to come too, but the drive from horseback riding was horrendous, with all of the street lights out. The thing that kills me is any time I see a fender bender around town, there will be about 8 of Mission Viejo's finest out to the scene of the crime, but when major intersections and freeway offramps go dark, you can't get a couple freaking cops out to direct traffic?

Now that we have our new couch, and since we have free DirecTV this season, I've made it clear to our friends that our house is Thiel Stadium, open for business at all times. Tonight I'd made some chili and some chicken salad, and we were expecting a crowd. Dad was well behaved, even though he generally hates watching games with other people... especially chatty nerds.

But what a game, right? We definitely enjoyed. And yes, Ellie was out in her baby finery.

Gramps did manage to play with her a little. During a break in the action.

Amazing to think that her first game of last session she looked like this:

And then after everyone left, I put her to bed all by myself! Go self.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sit on It!

After several years of living in a total dump, we are finally turning our house into a grown up house. Or at least, a place with a more comfortable, grown up living room. It started with us being copycats and getting the same recliner that mom and dad had purchased. The thing is amazing - it's not a big hideous man recliner, it rocks, it's so comfortable. I only wish I'd had it before Ellie was born. It would have made the first few weeks much easier. I look forward to sleeping it with #2 on my chest when he or she is a few days old and needs to hear mommy's heartbeat to sleep.

The next step was getting rid of our entertainment cabinet. The one we had is a 70s relic from the Ford rec room. It's a nice piece of actual wood furniture, but it didn't have any shelving and was basically made to store VHS tapes, not all of the cable boxes and X-Boxes that Tim has. His friend Ed bought a new entertainment center and sold us his. Voila! New entertainment center on the cheap. We were even able to unload our old entertainment cabinet via the magic of craiglist (I put it in the free section and someone actually came and got it! One can only hope that getting rid of the couch will go as well.)

It gets better. At knitting I was talking about how Tim and I had decided to go look for a small sectional during Labor Day, to take advantage of the sales. Jackie mentioned that she had friends in San Diego who had some barely used furniture in storage that they were looking to unload. Turns out, their sectional was almost exactly what Tim and I were looking to buy, and they were looking to sell on the cheap. So today we rented a U-Haul cargo van (which we filled with puppies and candy, for the children of San Diego, naturally) and dumped the baby at Grams' so we could go and pick up our new couch. It was like a day off - four whole hours spent reading and goofing off in the van, without the baby? SWEET FREEDOM!

So I present, without further ado, our sweet new living room.

Now I just sort of wish we had held out - perhaps mom and dad would have sold us their recliner gently used.

I also present: how babysitting went (aka: making the baby sleep in the yard.)

Sunday, September 4, 2011

We're Going to Win Twins., we're not. We're never going to win a damn game against the Angels while I'm in attendance, but we can have fun in the mean time, I suppose.

Dad was able to get us 8 tickets for today's afternoon game. They were seated four and four, so we had to do some trading off to make sure that everyone got a chance to hang out with Itty Bitty. I thought it worked out pretty well (though we did have to briefly reprimand a certain grandma for her baby hogging.) Ellie did great at the game - she was pleased to let everyone hold her, she didn't fuss too much, and at the end of the game she flat out passed out. Visual evidence!

Starting the game with her Angels-loving grandparents!

She is slightly perturbed by the strange, older man behind her.

Then her Twins-loving family arrived! (well, I had already been there with her, obviously.)

I had forgotten my AWESOME Circle me Bert sign (in the car!) but mom had made some little signs... which Ellie ate. She loves paper products.

So, at the end of the game, the moms, Sara and Jake were all sitting with the baby in the lower seats. The rest of us were standing in the back (behind the blue line, as the crabby stadium staff member kept reminding us if a toe crept over the line) basically waiting for the game to be over so we could reunited and rally and head out. All of a sudden, I get a text from Sara that Ellie, who I had handed off maybe five minutes ago, was asleep.

What a lazy baby! I think Grams gave her the sleeper hold. Actually, I realized about ten minutes later that it was after 3pm. It wasn't 1 o'clock like I'd thought in my head. No wonder the Bean was tired!

The best part?
Her falling asleep with a chew toy in her mouth like a pseudo binky. Her cheeks were all poked out from it. She stayed asleep as I moved her into my ergo, and slept on the car ride home (after being moved and clipped into her carseat, of course.)

Since she'd been a good girl, and since she got in a decent afternoon nap after the game, we took my friend Kristen up on her invitation for a BBQ at her house. Elizabeth got to hang out with Lexi and some other baby friends, I got to drink sangria, Tim got to stand out by the grill and run his mouth with a bunch of dudes... everyone had a good time!

And the fun don't stop. Stay tuned for tomorrow's NEW COUCH installment of this blog.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Franks and Beans.

It's only Saturday night, but it's already been quite the busy weekend, after a nice week. My best friend from college, Frank (aka the Fluff) was having a co-ed baby shower to celebrate the upcoming birth of his October baby. His wife and I were pregnant together last year and due within weeks of one another, but sadly, their son was born too premature to survive last June. They've had a long road to get to this place, and so when we were invited to celebrate their new addition, we knew we'd be there come hell or high water. Or a 90 minute drive into the Valley. Eesh. Ellie of course, stayed awake until we were about two exits away, and then woke up the second the car stopped. So... there went the hour nap we were hoping for. She was actually a good little trooper and survived on just a 20 minute nap in the late afternoon. There was plenty of delicious food, lots of good company, and plenty of plastic spoons for Elizabeth to amuse herself with.

I'm so glad that my Frank finally met my Beans.

This week has overall, been a grand one. We had a minimum of horrible screaming fits for absolutely no reason, no one had to do a "cool off" in her fun cage, and my mom got back from Wisconsin so I could spend more time mooching free childcare and dinner. FUN FOR EVERYONE!

Lately, when Ellie gets up, she'll go and play with her toys for a few minutes, but she's been abandoning them quickly in favor of crawling around the couch and visiting her library. I absolutely love it. We read a lot of books together, and then she spends more time turning pages and squealing to herself.

On her way to her library, she often encounters Thor's toys. Her affection for the blue ring with the ball inside may be what finally gets Thor to like her. She sits at one side and pushes the ball, he sits at one side and pushes the ball... it reminds me of a moment from long ago.

The blue ring toy is also what convinced Lulu that she liked Thor. Note: most cats enjoy that toy as kittens and then outgrow it. My cat is a boy idiot.

We continue to do a lot of good standing and some serious cruising. Mostly, she likes to be where ever I am. The other night Tim came home and I was on the couch fooling around, hoping he'd entertain her for a few minutes. I look down and she'd crawled over and pulled up, looking at me like, "hello! Play with me! ALL THE TIME!" She still hasn't said mama (to me) yet, and from the looks of it, she's definitely going to be one of those kids yelling "mom! mom! mom! mom! mom! hi."

And this is the cutie cute face she makes as she crawls over to climb all over me with open mouthed baby kisses. I think the weird unicorn horn is a particularly nice touch.