Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Playing Catch-up

Ok, So I realized today that I am so far behind on pictures and Ellie updates! I am going to try to fix that without going totally picture overboard - but I make no promises.

First, Ellie got some new toys a few weeks back. We got her a playmat and a jumperoo to encourage her to play independently more. She is learning to love the jumperoo even though she was not at all thrilled with it at first, and she enjoys the playmat.

Lately the jumperoo also seems to be the best place to sleep. This has become almost a daily occurrence, sometimes twice a day. Ellie is such a good sleeper for the most part. She puts herself to sleep usually within 10 minutes of the time we put her down at night. Often times for naps she knows she's tired so when I put her in the crib she just goes to sleep, and every once in a while she just hangs out playing in the crib when she wakes up which I LOVE. The other day I went to check on her and she'd just been playing for a while. Then she giggled the whole time I took her jammies off. Such a great nap time!

Speaking of playtime, we are also starting to occasionally get happy tummy time! And, as of Sunday November 21 Ellie started to roll over again. You may be thinking, "so what? she's been rolling over since Labor Day." True. Till she stopped. It had been several weeks, so we're glad she is rolling over again. Here is a video of tummy time and rolling over from the 21st of November. She is only rolling over using the weight of her head when she pushes up still, so sometimes she thumps her head, but when she does she isn't usually upset. (Rose/Bennett hard heads are good for something.)
But don't worry, we still get plenty of this kind of tummy time too. Most of the time, in fact.
Man, she's not even red here... She obviously wasn't very upset.

I don't have a good video of it, but Ellie is also developing in her speech. She has been talking to us more and more all the time, and just today she started making more complex sounds some of the time. In other words, her sounds aren't always all vowels. So exciting to watch her little mouth make all these cute shapes as she starts to get a feel for "words". Since I don't have a video, instead enjoy this CUTE picture of Ellie and Steve getting ready to go out last Monday night.
This girl LOVES her Daddy.

We are also watching her figure out her hands. She obviously knows they are there now, and at times knows she controls them to some shaky extent. We never did get the whole staring at the hand wide open in the face thing, just watching them at times and having them whap her in the face. But, based on how often she watches them into her mouth and the fact that she is now grabbing blankets, toys, etc. (sometimes with help) she obviously is figuring those hand things out. As a result, she is also currently fascinated by other people's hands. From watching us type on the ipad to tracking a "magic jelly bean" Steve held over her at my parents' house, she is fixated on hands.Staring at her hands above and happy after playing with this blanket below.
She also loves trying to help hold her bottles these days. And she's held it for a few seconds a couple of times now! She usually gets in her (and our) way, knocking the bottle out of her mouth and getting mad, but we love watching her try to help out.

She also still loves watching her feet. And, a new thing as of this week - feet in the air! She loves doing this during diaper changes.

Another phase we're entering - insert in mouth. Blankets, a jacket that gets bunched up, hands, bibs, our hands on occasion. When she gets mobile it will be time to baby proof in a hurry!

A couple of other quick developments... On Saturday, 20 of November we saw Ellie roll her tongue for the first time. Apparently that comes from me as Steve can't do it. And because he's Steve, his first response was to go into the fact that tongue-rolling is the dominant gene and that if we have a non-tongue-roller in the future, that makes me a hybrid. Gotta love that scientist...

Probably our FAVORITE recent development is: laughter! Thursday November 18 I heard her first undeniable laugh! Then nothing till Monday and then about a laugh a day for a few days. Then while we were at my parents Ellie started showing how much more entertaining Daddy is than Mommy and Steve had her going and going and going! We'll put up the only video of her laughing we have so far in the video blog.

Lastly, here are a few pictures of our growing girl from this past week. Our home scale has her around 16 lbs already!!!

Still to come: videos of Ellie and pictures from our Thanksgiving trip to Spokane!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ellie's New Diet

So, Ellie is a spitter-upper. No big deal right? Every kid spits up a lot and acts like they have a bad taste in their mouth because... um, have you smelled spit-up? Or so I thought.
About the time of the baby blessing we noticed that every once in a while Ellie REALLY spat-up. Like, not a drop left of food in her stomach and she's hungry afterward. I know, so awesome to get covered in vomit and then have a screaming baby because now that her stomach is empty, she's HUNGRY! And when Ellie is hungry, it's a big. deal. She may be a little food-centric...

Well, we thought she was draining from being sick and that was causing the big spit ups. Then when she obviously wasn't sick, we thought it was from allergies. And then the last couple of weeks the big spit-ups became more and more frequent till we knew one would come every 2 or 3 days. So we called the doctor to see if we could reduce the drainage and help her not to get such an upset tummy.

Well, turns out that not every baby spits up all the time and acts like they're chewing their cud, or coughs with a bad taste in their mouth. Those are all signs of reflux. Silly first-time parents.... The doctor asked us a bunch of questions, realized what it was, and then as she was explaining what to do kept saying "See, she's refluxing right now." That only happened like 3 times in about 5 or 10 minutes. Crap! I didn't realize it was such a problem or that she was dealing with it that often.

Luckily, Ellie has the reflux but not the heartburn that sometimes comes with it. How do we know? Because the baby the doctor saw earlier that day with it was a GRUMP - all the time - because the heartburn hurt. Where as Ellie is only really a grump when she is tired, or mostly hungry.

So, Ellie is on a new diet - to eh, keep her girlish figure. (So funny that the doctor looked at Ellie and told us that "She may be throwing up, but she's obviously keeping something down..." Not like she was 14 LBS 10 OZ when they weighed her in!)

So now Ellie gets to have oatmeal cereal in her bottles whenever she is going to stay awake to give her stomach something more solid to work on. It basically looks like sludge.

See what I mean? Before and after adding oatmeal:
And then we have the pleasure of sitting with her for half an hour afterward while we try to keep her mostly still so her stomach can settle some. In more severe cases we'd have to elevate her mattress to a 45 degree angle and/or put her on the equivalent of baby zantac.

Lucky for us, Ellie is so into her food. As a result, she doesn't care what it is. Milk, different formulas, oatmeal milk, just give her food! And... so far so good! She's hardly spit up and seems to be her happy self. We even heard her give a real, actual, undeniable laugh Thursday! Nothing since, just her little chuckles that sound a little bit like yelling or winding up to cry...
So, our little monkey - or cow? - is doing well and now she has something more solid to eat most of the time. You know, so she can start putting weight on....
PS, the pictures are from this past Thursday and Friday. Ellie in some of the outfits Julie sent her from Japan - with added layers for warmth. Thanks Aunt Julie!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Mom and Dad's new "puppies"?

Just a quick post to show some pics of the new dogs. For those who don't know the whole story, found a couple of great dane/mastiff cross dogs in Pasco that a family was giving away. They had just had a new baby, and their house and yard was way too small for these huge dogs. So they agreed to give the dogs away to the right home. After learning that Mom and Dad live on a farm they were very eager that their dogs would be rehomed to the farm life.

One of the noisiest videos I've ever uploaded to the blog. The combination of dogs barking, Ellie crying, and three people all trying to catch the attention of the dogs makes for quiet the cacophony. At first the dogs were a bit stand offish, and the former owner was very apologetic; however little did he know that Dad's dog handling skills makes that hack "dog whisperer" guy look like Micheal Vick.

They really are good dogs, they are about a year old and about 3/4 grown, yup these monsters will get even bigger. Mom was a little apprehensive about their size, but it didn't take long for her to warm up to them and vice versa. Mom can claim to not be a dog person, but how many words is a picture worth again?

So the tan dog's name is Kingston, and the black dog's name is Hades.

Mom and Dad have some neighbors with a small pack of dogs. They used to pick on Shadow till Mom and Dad got Sampson which kind of tipped the balance a bit. With Kingston and Hades, I think it is safe to say that the arms race is over. Here's to big dogs and giving good homes to dogs that need it.

Now all we need is a saddle, it won't be long till Ellie is old enough for mutton bustin......I'm thinking if she can ride Kingston or Hades, mutton bustin will be a breeze.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Talking Monkey!

I figured I would try yet again to upload the video of Ellie talking. She makes new sounds every day and never talks when I have the camera going, but I did catch some of her babble one night (after about 12 other video attempts failed.) So enjoy our talking monkey! I know we sure do!

PS - Disregard my stupid noises, she was responding to them....

The above video was brought to you by Microsoft. Nicolle tried to load the video (which was in an Apple format) 12 times and failed. I converted the file from the useless, steaming pile of dung Apple format to the IT FREAKING WORKS Microsoft format and presto it uploaded! Remind me again why people pay on average 33% more for a Mac than they do for a PC?