Thursday, December 29, 2011

Today's Hilarity.

Ellie has learned "tickle tickle tickle," in that, if you say it, she begins to tickle her own armpits. It makes everyone laugh!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Well, the holidays are over and our last Christmas visitors are gone. Now, we are back to lazing around. Tim is off this whole week, which has been great because I get to shower by myself, and actually eat a meal without little hands trying to stick themselves into my mouth. Winner!

Tuesday we had one last fun afternoon with the Nollins - we went to the Mission with the girls (and Jimi) and had some delicious Golden Spoon.

Ellie may have liked the fish even more than she liked the frogurt.

She is just amazing me lately with her talking. A lot of animal noises (woof woof, caw caw) and then tonight when I grabbed a clementine for her dinner, she started trying to say orange. Her mouth screws up as she makes the O sound, and it was so funny to see her try to say it. Then later I was drinking a bottle of sparking water and she came over and said bottle (like bod-dah.) And her favorite multi-syllabal word, banana. I mean, don't get me wrong, she isn't saying these words perfectly, but it's very distinct and clear that she knows what the object is and what it's called. Such a smartie smart!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Party Party and then some more Partying!

Uff da, what a fun and exhausting couple of days. We have been spoiled rotten, eaten ourselves sick, and stayed out way past our bedtimes.

Ellie was a trooper through it all, mostly because she loves being where the action is and doesn't want to nap if there's walking around and squealing to be performed.

Friday the 23rd was her Grandpa's birthday party, where as you can see, she hated her some Santa. She was such a good girl, despite only having gotten 45 minutes of nap time during the day. When we got home though, she did do this:
She was so tired that she stayed asleep even after I picked her up out of her car seat - that hasn't happened since she was a newborn.

Christmas Eve she had to hang out with Tim and I while we cleaned the house and grocery shopped. Just kidding - I made Tim do the grocery shopping by himself while I did nap time. It's his payment for all of the other holiday activities I spearhead. You want me to wrap all the presents I picked out for our loved ones? Wade through the shoppers and buy me a ham. He also spent some time sitting with her while Grandma Rosie read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" via recordable storybook (aka, the best things ever.)

Then we picked up Auntie Sara at work and headed over to mom and dad's for the big gift exchange. The Nollins refused to give up their Christmas morning tradition, so they mostly sat around and snacked while the Thiels did present opening. Ellie cleaned up of course, with a great bunch of puzzles, a dress made by her Grandma Rosie, and most excitingly, a stroller for her babies from Auntie Sara. Oh Auntie Sara, she always knows just what a baby needs.

As for Tim and I, we got some good loot too, and we had an EXCELLENT White Elephant exchange - everyone won!

Then Christmas morning we hosted brunch for everyone. It went much better than last year - seriously, I don't know what I was doing last year, trying to host when I had a farty little baby and very little control over my brain. I think it was mostly about wanting to establish the brunch tradition, but I did not execute anywhere near correctly (or really at all. I just sort of looked at my mom with mystified "oh help me" eyes when she arrived.) This year, when everyone arrived I had coffee in the coffee pot, and the croque madame sandwiches in the oven, toasting. The only thing we needed was fried eggs, and Dad was happy to be the Eggman (coo coo cachoo!)

It was so nice to have everyone over, enjoying breakfast and some good company.

Ellie also cleaned up during the Ford Christmas exchange, after the hoopla had died down. SHE GOT HER VERY OWN PONY!

Hi Ho Silver, AWAY! You can also see her sweet new slide in the background.

Then, while I got her down for a nap, Tim and Eileen put the kitchen back together. It was a Christmas miracle! I am a lucky girl. We spent our afternoon with the Smith-Fitz clan, including Ellie's little twinsie cousins. They are suddenly so big! Amazing what 14 weeks can do.

Look at all those baby hungry aunts!

We spent today relaxing and hanging out with Ellie's pals. It was nice to have a chill day after spending so much time dragging her all over the place, to strange, unbaby-proofed homes (not that our house is baby proofed at all. Why buy cabinet locks when my kid hates when I walk out of her sight?) I went for a walk with two of my girlfriends this morning, and Ellie actually fell asleep (usually she just whines in the morning when she's done, that naughty thing!) Then after a little lunch and cleaning up, we met up with her friend Clare for a little park time. Clare was very envious of Ellie's stroller, mostly because she's not quite walking yet and so the lightweight stroller wasn't enough support for her to walk on her own with. On our way home, we got a text from her friend Dean (okay, from his mom) who was hanging out at the park in our neighborhood, so we swung by there as well. The park has a ton of quiet green space, and we let Ellie just run free (she and her baby, just exploring the grass!) After that, it was nap time.

Tonight we got in on some of the delicious Christmas leftovers at mom and dad's - tamales, posole, and finally, a salad. I feel like my body was about to shut down from lack of green vegetables. Frank, Jasmin and Baby Fluff were driving back from Christmas in Carlsbad, and they stopped by to say hi, which I'm so glad for. Baby Fluff has also gotten huge and even more adorable since we last saw him - he is starting to look more like his mommy, but still has all that red hair. Ellie was actually pretty well behaved about me holding another baby... until we tried to make them take a picture together (it was past her bedtime.)

It's like when Fluff and I were in college - me crying for no discernible reason, and him patiently listening and thinking what a moron I am. Oh, silly babies!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Second Verse, Same as the First!

Just a little bit louder and a little bit worse!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Visitors.

Lucky Ellie and lucky us have been surrounded by great visitors this past week. I must admit, I am a little tired by the end of the day, but appreciate all the extra hands, and all the extra fun. So does Ellie.

Here she is with her Grandpa Charlie and her Grams. And her favorite bracelet. And Petunia, who as you can see, hates her. That is some over the top cat disdain.

Here she is with her Uncle John. Last Christmas, I think the only time he acknowledged her was when she blasted a big nasty fart and he was like, "did that come from the baby?" (Though he did get her some GREAT books for Christmas.) This year? He is all about his little toddler friend - teaching her to do knuckles, balling up paper for her to fetch, working with her on her dexterity skills. He is a great uncle.

Wednesday we went to a fabulous cookie exchange with our mom friends, and then off to hang out with the knitters, at Janet's house this time. Janet has two weiner dogs, and Ellie set about making friends with them, as you do. She was SO cute - she didn't like so much when they jumped on her, but as long as Janet was holding one, Ellie would stand next to her and say "hi! hi! hi!" over and over again, along with lots of woofing.

Oh Rusty, he's so silly and loving.

So as you can see, Santa's little elf is having quite a good time. Except when drank all of the Johnny Walker Red Label. I tried to tell her we'd let her play in the box anyways, but she insisted on drinking all of the contents first before she sat in it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Keyboard Cat.

Those two, they kill me. Ellie now demands to play the big piano every day, and her dancing makes me want to just keel over with joy. Except... someone has to be there, making sure she doesn't tumble off the bench. Then we play with her Thomas set and she chases the cats.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Ellie and her Elders.

What a fun weekend we've had! Yesterday we spent with the Smith/Fitzpatrick family matriarch, Sister Mary Brigid as she celebrated her 90th birthday. Despite getting a crappy nap, she was in good spirits, and delighted to play with her awesome cousins. She was also very happy to hang out with her great-great aunt Mary.

And then today (after the sadness of the Packers loss) we went over to hang out with the Miller family patriarch, in from Wisconsin for the holidays (along with John and Great Lisa.)

First, he read to her.

And then, she read to him. She's a good egg that way.

The rest of the family arrives from Chicago tomorrow, and we've got family and friend events from now until the New Year, it feels like. Plus at some point I have to wrap presents and prepare our house for Christmas morning brunch.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Cleanup on Aisle Five.

We had such a fun, busy day today. Went to the endo, where my blood and thyroid was pronounced perfect (I either come back in four months, or when I get pregnant, whichever happens first.) Ellie was thrilled to read a small magazine about diabetes while in the waiting room. It was baby sized!

Then we met up with mom and Sara just as they were about to escape for the day (literally - I pulled my car behind mom's as she was coming out of the driveway, and then had to honk before she hit me.) Ellie and I got ourselves along for the ride to Sara's school, lunch and then Target. Turns out, Ellie likes the Hat's pastrami sandwiches and onion rings (her mama didn't raise no fool!) And she LOVES being out of the cart and allowed to walk in Target.

The funniest part was the first time she saw the red tile at the end of an aisle - she actually got down and crawled over it. What a funny little lovebug.

Tonight we had a holiday party with some mom friends. Ellie was the biggest girl there. I think the other moms were jealous that my kid is smart enough to understand the command "smell my feet."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Crazy Bird Girl

I am pretty sure we are cutting a molar - today has been about managing temper tantrums and bad moods, and Ellie seems to have a sizable bump on her lower gum, towards the back. That could just be her actual gumline, but I think it might become a toof. Poor love.

We still had a good one today with the knitters. Mom brought us into the Mission and we discovered Ellie's newest skill - going caw caw at crows. She was really interested when they flew overhead and thought it was absolutely hysterical when mom and I went "caw caw." Then she joined in, and cracked herself up. She's going to grow up to be a crazy bird lady. I should probably start familiarizing her with Mary Poppins.

Melonhead meets a giant gourd.

Little moonboots, cawing at the birds.

A bonus cutie-cute picture from the other day. Such a big girl!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fat, Willful Baby.

So, after a very full day of morning coffee with friends, swim class, a two hour nap, a trip to Grams and Gramps and an evening of watching Auntie Sara at horseback riding, Ellie and I came home and started getting ready for dinner.

Tim and I still had some delicious mushroom ravioli leftover from last night, and I was holding Beans as I was transferring the pasta from the doggie bag into a bowl. She saw the ravioli and started SCHA-REAMING for the next three minutes until the food finished warming, and I could get a ravioli on her high chair tray and cut into baby sized pieces.

Who knew that toddlers loved mushroom ravioli?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Up to No Good!

"Oh, hello. Since you let me run around in a diaper after the shower, I decided I should dress myself. I am ready for a training bra mom, but yours is kind of big."

"Also, did you know that I have discovered our tree? It has ornaments on it. I will bring this one to you." Her hair style is what happens when she has a boinger all day, and then I take it out before she goes to bed and she sleeps like a crazy person.

Some new developments in Ellie's life - she is really learning quick and understanding the English language. I realized the other day that she'd picked up "where's your nose?" and "where's your ear?" because I tend to name those parts when I'm trapped, holding her in my lap while she eats. We are now working on cheeks and eyes. Still no dice, but man is she good on the nose and ears, and mama's nose too. She is getting great at saying da da (and finding da da - my special trick is asking where da da is when I need a minute!) and in addition to saying kitty, she now says "rah rah" for Rocky (and sometimes, other cats in general.) It's amazing to watch her learn new things every day, and absorb what's going on around her. I am going to need to start watching my language and switching to the kid friendly playlist on my iPod, I fear.

She's had a lot of fabulous time with her grandparents lately, which is always awesome for Tim and I, because it gives us a chance to sneak away now and again. Date nights!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Want to see our parent of the year nomination?

So, Monday morning Tim was getting ready, and Ellie headed down the hallway to see him, muttering "dah dah dah dah dah" as she does, to spite me. So I went to make breakfast. A couple of minutes later I hear her crying, and the "I'm hurt!" cry, not the "why aren't you holding me? You don't need to be putting on pants!" cry so I head down the hall to find her in the bathroom, and Tim right behind her. He hadn't seen what happened, and Ellie stopped crying a few seconds after I scooped her into my lap, but then I pushed up her bangs and Tim and I both freaked out, watching the gigantic goose egg raise on her head. As far as we can figure, she must have fallen into the corner of the shower tile. Learning to walk is a full contact sport!

Funny (but not really funny haha): on Friday at mom class we'd been talking about the symptoms of concussions, since many of the babies are getting mobile and boinking their heads, so I at least knew right away that Ellie did not need to go to the hospital. Getting her to hold still so that I could try to ice her bruise was a different story.

Poor thing - it hasn't seemed to bother her or slow her down at all, but I feel like a real heel when I'm out in public with her, my beautiful girl with her beautifully colored bruise.

Now we just have to hope that it goes away before Christmas, so we don't have to remember it in photos for years to come.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Christmas Letter.

Hello all!

Our Christmas cards went out this weekend, and I am getting word that they have hit mailboxes all across the country. So I assume that a few people saw the blog address and are new visitors. And I assume the rest of you faithful readers will continue to read the tripe I post here, in order to get to new picture and videos of Ellie Beans.

But first! Here, the traditional Christmas Letter, in blargh format:

Timothy Joseph:
Tim continues to enjoy his dream job, making the video games. He also likes to eat the freshly baked cookies that the cafeteria offers every day at 3, and the free booze that is proffered every (other) Friday. That's right, not every Friday. Every other Friday. It's like a prison camp. His project is still top secret and a long ways from hitting the market, but he is working hard. He got a promotion this year and now has minions of his very own. He still takes my phone calls during the day though. And lets us come for cookies. In his free time, he has been wiping baby butts, doing bath time, having Thor sleep on his feet, and PLAY the video games. He will be 32 next week, and is as handsome as ever, with his giant sideburns.

Meg Marie:
I have enjoyed my full time job as head baby feeder and butt wiper over the past year. I keep busy with a great group of mom friends who I walk with a couple days a week (one group on Monday and Wednesday nights, one fun friend on Tuesday and Thursday mornings!) and am so grateful that all four of Ellie's fabulous grandparents live within a half hour's drive. I feel like I've got my mommy sea legs under me, and I really enjoy having a toddler.

Elizabeth Rosemarie:
Ellie will be 14 months in a little over a week. She is walking full time now, and has a few words, mostly related to cats. Her favorite food is Cheerios, probably because she can get the container out of my diaper bag, open it, and wander around like a dude with a bag of Doritos, stuffing them into her mouth. She continues to enjoy her swimming lessons, and get so cutely excited when she sees one of her grandparents, or one of her little baby friends. She gets better every dang day (except for the days when she is cutting teeth. Then, not so good.) She is a bratty little princess and sleeps in her mommy's arms for naps, and alone in a queen sized bed at night (with a bedrail.) Thank goodness our crib was a free hand me down.

Cat Friends:
Ever since half-stray neighbor cat Jonesy became a full time inside cat, our two have spent less time fighting each other for no reason. Neither of them are too hot on the baby - Lulu has gone on cat prozac since early spring, and Thor runs if Ellie so much as looks at him. But they still snuggle with us at night -it's our favorite form of cosleeping.

Our Lives in General:
We did not go on any vacations this year, as traveling someplace with a baby sounds like more of a chore than a vacation. But Tim and I, with the help of our lovely parents, managed to get away for pretty regular date nights throughout the year, and still like each other quite a bit. Ellie did manage her first plane flight, to visit her Grandpa Howie in May, and is looking forward to spending the Fourth of July with everyone in Door County this coming summer. She should be a world of fun as a full blown toddler on a plane. We did not do any home repairs, but yearn to have a new kitchen someday. SOMEDAY! Basically, we did not do anything super fabulous this year, except watch our awesome daughter become a totally fun little girl.

The Question People Love to Ask:
Yes, we are going to have another baby someday. If it happens tomorrow, we'll be thrilled. If it happens in two years, we'll be equally as thrilled. And honestly, if it never happens, we pretty much adore Ellie with every fiber of our beings, so that would be pretty okay too.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Two Lazy Ladies.

In case you were wondering, Lulu is no less jealous a year later.
For reference, this was almost EXACTLY a year ago.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Morning Movie.

This video has everything I love. Walking, talking, a boinger hairstyle, and baby kissing.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like...

What a fun night! A few weeks ago one of my mom friends sent out an email because she was selling tickets via her MOPS group for a ride on the Christmas train in Irvine Park. I figured it would be a fun night, so we bought a couple, and then we took our live young. I didn't seem to get any good pictures on the actual train (because I was clutching a little girl who wanted to toddle and grab things) but we did get some great photos from our adventure.

Here is our little elf, Cindy Lou Who.

Here she is with Santa! Santa told her that she looked just like Mrs. Claus used to as a little girl, in her cute little sweater from Grams. That still did not make her feel any better. Is it wrong of me to say that I was hoping she'd cry? Kids crying with Santa is THE BEST.

Here's all of the family, after we arrived at the North Pole. You know, where we visited Santa.

People always tell me that Ellie looks like me, and I say thanks, but secretly disagree. Look at these two! They are two giant eyed peas in a pod.

I also think it's funny when people go "oh, look at her two little teeth!" We are up to seven people, SEVEN! (Not me though, I have all of the teeth you're supposed to have. Whatever that number is. That's how many I've got.)

Bonus: here she is from earlier in the day, in her new pushcart from Grams, with the pine cone that Grams grabbed her out of the gutter. Could there be a luckier girl? All of the neighbors and people of Starbucks wanted to be our friends, because we knew Santa's little helper.

Genius Baby.