Thursday, June 28, 2012

Pack It!

The baby is currently napping, the laundry is currently cycling, and I just finished scribbling out a page-long packing list for our trip. To say that I'm nervous is an understatement. In years gone by, my biggest concerns were which flip flops to wear and what charm bracelets to bring (trick question: the answer is bring ALL charm bracelets ALWAYS.) And Tim is always easy - bring one video game tee shirt per day, one notebook and one gameboy, and you're set to go. But now things have changed - trying to figure out how many diapers to bring for our friend, what lovies and babies to have for her to hold, and which books will hold her attention for the longest. I'm not so much worried about the drives, because she's used to her car seat (and we're used to ignoring her in the car) and when we're in Wisconsin, we'll have access to plenty of grocery stores and washing machines to make our lives easy.

It's the plane that scares me. Because I am a cheap bastard, and because this is my last chance to do so, I'm having her fly as a lap child. Granted, we will have five laps that she can spread across, but she's not always the quietest or best at sitting. The good news is that we're flying with Grizz, Mr. Frequent Fliers Platinum Member, and so we can use his benefits - he'll be able to board early so we won't have to fight for overhead space, we can check a big suitcase for free (thus freeing me from trying to make sure every toiletry is TSA approved) and if anything goes wrong, the airline cares more about making him happy than it does most travelers on the giant flying tin can. The other good news is that he has generously loaded up his iPad with kid friendly movies and games, even allowing me to spend 99 cents via his iTunes account to get some Monkey Fun Time preschool app that my friends raved about. I'm hoping that between the excitement of the airplane, her old friend the Cat and the Hat cartoon (not super educational, but good to put on if one would want to take a shower in peace and quiet these days) and lots and lots of snacks, we can do it. And of course, Elizabeth loves the "pecial la la hat" I purchased for her (headphones) and gets a huge thrill out of holding mommy's iPad (iPod.)

We can't wait to see all of our family and friends and relax and recharge in the country's best state. I am looking forward to eating cheese until I feel ill, getting bit to death by mosquitos, and laying around in Greg and Lisa's hammock from Puerto Rico (25 years old and still going strong!) My iPod is all charged up with a sweet dance party play list, and Becca has purchased Bananagrams, so I can own everyone with my incredible smarts when we retire to our cabin at the end of the night. Plus, there is nothing better than seeing Ellie with her great grandparents - we can't wait to get our hands on them.

In closing, here is a video of her yapping it up after her nap the other day. I would say the midwest doesn't know what's about to hit them, but then again, she learned to yap from the best.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Park It!

Maybe this is a nerdy, suburban parent thing to say, but I am so glad that we have a great park within walking distance of our house. With the long summer nights, we are definitely taking advantage.

"I see you dada!"

Sunday, June 24, 2012

First Weekend of Summer.

...and Ellie ends it by going to bed at 7:30pm. It's still light out, by the way.

But I can't blame the girl, it's been a busy weekend! Lots of walking with her dada, a fun afternoon and dinner out with Mimi and Pa, and then a trip to the ocean today, followed by two different sojourns into the pool.

I mean, I found it exhausting, just chasing after her.

She's truly my daughter though - we got to the water and before mom, Sara or I could put down our bags and towels, Ellie was streaking towards the waves, screaming with joy. She wasn't too hot on the water sucking the sand away from her feet as the waves receded, but she wasn't bothered by the waves crashing into her or the cold of the water.


So, the last two times I've taken Ellie to the beach, we've been unprepared in terms of outfits - the first time I didn't really expect to let her splash, so I didn't have a suit for her (or even a spare diaper.) The second time, I didn't have a bathing suit on myself, so I didn't want to get too soaked in my jeans. This time, everyone was in the correct outfits, but we neglected to bring any of her sand toys, so we didn't really have anything to distract her with when she was shivering and in need of a break from the water.

Thankfully, a nice grandma nearby let us borrow her grandson's toy for a bit. Ellie was very interested in the "dump it!" part of sandcastle making.

We came home, let her splash in the pool, gave her a bath and then put her down for a nap, which lasted close to two hours... until Petunia opened the bedroom door and woke her up. That sort of set us back for the day, and Ellie only dug herself a deeper hole of exhaustion by wanting to go back in the spa (which was still sort of warm) for an hour around 4pm. She had a great time though, and that's what matters.

And goodness knows, after all of that swimming and bathing and splashing, she sure is clean and fresh smelling!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

City Folk Time.

This week I've been up to the great city of Los Angeles not once, but TWICE! Tuesday I went up for an afternoon, dinner and drinks with my friend Joy, to celebrate her birthday (baby obviously not invited or included) and then today Elizabeth and I went up to have lunch with some of my old coworkers, including Emily's baby Liam, who is fast approaching one. They grows up and they grows up!

It's a funny experience, being back in my hometown after a few years behind the Orange Curtain, especially my first time being out and about with my girlfriends without the baby. Walking down the street, I felt like I had a giant blaring neon sign over my head that said "UNCOOL SUBURBAN MOM, PLEASE OBSERVE HOW SHE IS WEARING FLATS SO SHE WON'T EAT IT INTO THE GUTTER." I also forgot what it's like to run into strung out crazies at the 7-11. Not an experience that I've missed. I am however, proud to report that I still am able to cross 3 lanes of traffic on a busy street and parallel park in a tiny space on my first try. There is a little bit of city girl in me yet!

Don't get me wrong, there are definitely things I miss about my former life, but at the end of the night, I'm thankful to come back to my cute little house, filled with all the people I love. And I'm thankful every day that we live within a half hour of all Ellie's grandparents. I've said it all along - without my mom ten minutes away, I probably would have been forced to eat my own life young or go lay face down in a ditch filled with dirty water during the first few months of Ellie's life (and occasionally, during the last few months, ha!)

As for Ellie herself, she is really cracking me up lately. She's starting to string together actual sentences, and likes to say things like, "I see you, no see me!" Her favorite thing to say, overall is "baby hold" and my favorite thing to hear is "help please" rather than screaming. I'm also amazed at how much she understands - the other day she was losing her crap in our favorite sandwich shop over wanting a cookie, and I told her "you need to calm down and get control of yourself and you can have some cookie," and she immediately took a deep breath and got herself together. She also gets my shoes when I ask her. Her current favorite books are two little books I had as a kid - one is about Timmy and his spaniel Charlie, and one is about a little girl and her rabbit Buttercup. It's all photos rather than illustrations, and Ellie loves to flip through the pages and tell me "puppy night night. Puppy plant. Puppy bite ball. No bite," followed by "hop hop. Hop hop shell [aka flowers]. Hop away. Hop away tail. Hop hop right back. Next page." In fact, I listened to her tell me the stories of Buttercup and Charlie all the way up to LA today (she slept on the way home, hooray!)

My favorite time of the day is still right after her nap. I go in and lay down with her, and Ellie snuggles up to me. She'll lay on my chest and press her face into mine and I think about how tiny she was, sleeping on my chest as a newborn, and how enormous she is now. There's a lot of tickling and antics from the giggle monster, and then usually Lulu comes in and we have to exclaim over and what she's doing.

It is also the only time she will ever sit in her crib.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

To the world's loveliest fathers

Elizabeth had a great time, mostly because she got to be in both the wading pool at Mimi's house and the spa at Gigi's house. The kid loves the water, it's true.

I mean seriously, what more could you want?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cell Phone Pictures.


Look at this picture and tell me she is not seconds away from heading to college. Such a big girl!

OMG, Grizz's side of the bed makes for the most luxurious naps.

Speaking of luxury, who's up for a fancy accessory walk?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Petting Zoo Party Time.

Monday morning our little friend Penelope had her first birthday, so now all of our friends are one! This is just as our first group of baby friends from Mommy Matters class are on the downhill slope towards two (including Beanserina herself.) Penelope's party was especially fun because they had animals there for petting and loving.

Here she is trying to horn in on the birthday girl's bunny cuddling time.

Plus there was plenty of cake for she and her friend Clare to shove in their pieholes. Basically, a toddler's dream party.

Friday, June 8, 2012

American Dream.

After a lovely dinner last night, Tim and I sat outside nursing beers while our food stained, diaper clad baby ran around the backyard, eating slices of peach from our very own peach tree, chasing bubbles and chatting up a storm. It's a good life.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dying Laughing.

Just your every day antics!

This one features my AWESOME singing. You're welcome

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

My Marvelous Girl.

Being a stay at home parent can be draining. The day to day is a lot of work - all the diapers, all the meals, listening to all the whining, mitigating all the temper tantrums, all the naps that end hours before they should...

And lord knows, we have had some really horrible, rough days over the past almost 20 months. since she turned one and started walking and talking, we've really had a lot of fun, that little girl and I. She's getting so big so quickly. I feel like she looks enormous when I lay her down in bed, which also makes me laugh because most people would see a toddler in a queen sized bed and marvel over how small she looks. I'm just amazed by her - how cute she is, how funny her little curls are, how enthusiastic she is about almost EVERYTHING in life. I just feel so lucky that she wants to wrap her little fat arms around my neck and hug me a million times a day. She makes me laugh with her antics and her creativity and her joy at life. I'm lucky to be her mama.

So, below is a reeeeeally long video (7 minutes.) I wanted to catch on tape what it's like to have a conversation with the little goofball. Pretty boring, but I know in six months I will look back and get misty eyed, watching her.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Yet another busy weekend! We:
-went to the petting zoo with Auntie Sara
-had Lexi and her parents over for some hot dogs, some beverages and some splashing in the baby pool
-went out to birthday breakfast with the family in celebration of Mimi's birthday
-sat quietly almost alllllll the way through breakfast, despite the lure of the ocean only a few yards away
-splash splashed in the ocean until her lips turned blue and she started shivering
-took some wonderfully long naps
-went to the park for plenty of sliding (wheee!)
-skyped with Gigi and Grizz
-gave Petunia and Rocky some happy birthday hugs

And now, I am ready to go to bed early. I am a tired old mama.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Crabbiness Managed

It's the end of our week now, and thankfully it's finished better than it started. We had about 48 horrible, rashy, sleepless hours, and then Ellie slept 12 hours at a clip and woke up relatively rash free on Wednesday. We got to go to music class and spend the rest of the day celebrating Mimi's birthday.

Today we got to see the whole fam-damily at cousin Daniel's graduation luncheon. Ellie was a little overwhelmed when we arrived and refused to sit with Mimi, which broke her heart. Especially when Ellie was then happy to sit in her own chair and chat with Paw (I think it's because he was funneling french fries right into her piehole.) In the end, she did a lot of snuggling, and was very pleased to bring Daniel a "special mail mail" (ie: a card.)

We had dinner with Gigi and Grizz tonight, before they ABANDON us for a vacation. I kept telling Ellie tonight that I had an owie on my heart because Gigi was going away. Ellie is finally starting to understand the concept of owies, and the other day when she smacked me, I told her she'd given me an owie and she immediately started crying. Good news, I'm not raising a sociopath! She has empathy!

What else has Ellie been up to... she's continuing to pick up more and more words, and sentences. I wouldn't say that it's stuff that everyone can understand, but if you're around her long enough (and follow her hand gestures) it's easy to pick up on her little language. The funniest thing is how her statements come out of nowhere. The other day after her nap we were having a yogurt pouch (a tube of yogurt that I froze) and she starts petting the carpet and saying something like, "ha ha ee das" and it took me a minute until I finally agreed "yes, that's right, the hop hops do eat grass!" She especially likes exclamations, like "oh my!" and "oh boy!" and "boom ace!" the latter of which Tim taught her at the playground. The best thing about her is when other people are laughing, she will sometimes chime in with this huge fake laugh, like she gets the joke, and then we all start laughing even harder because it's this goofy little kid guffawing at something she doesn't understand. Her other favorite thing is climbing onto regular chairs, so that she can tell us whose chair she's sitting in (Sara's is her top choice.)

She also loves the doll crib, of course.

Oh, and the funniest new development? She will try to stand on one foot. And then she'll put her foot down and pick up the other one and say "other foot?" This is in addition to how she still stands on her tiptoes and prances around if you ask her to jump jump. I have to catch it on video soon - her dancing and jump jumping makes me laugh every time.