Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Shoes and Bunnies

We headed to Spokane for Presidents Day weekend as Steve had Monday off. It was great to spend time with family and we always love seeing Ellie and loved ones get time with each other.

First of all, it ended up being a great trip. Family time was great, my parents watched Ellie one day just so Steve and I could go spend a couple of hours together without towing a diaper bag and tired 6 month old with us, and we ran into one of my friends from high school. I have to say a big THANK YOU to my friend Clacie and her husband Mike who decided when we ran into each other to simply give us 30 cans of formula they had in surplus! It was truly a wonderful gift.

Next, my Step-Mom Kerry got Ellie a really adorable dress for Easter, but as Ellie is a giant baby, she wore it while we were there so they could get pictures of her in it. Kerry has pet rabbits and wanted pictures of Ellie with her rabbit Patches. Here are a couple of cute ones.

More on the rabbit-Ellie connection.... Soooo funny! Patches came to check Ellie out while Steve had her sitting on the floor watching him play. Ellie leaned forward to touch him and simultaneously whacked him on the head and drooled a big puddle on his back. Needless to say the poor rabbit took off and jumped in the air, flinging drool across the room. My dad said that even 5-10 minutes later when he petted the rabbit his back was soaked... Don't worry, Patches didn't learn his lesson.... He was fascinated by Ellie's rattle - can't blame him, she drops any toy and reaches for it/tries to eat it anytime she spots it too - and came to check Ellie out with the rattle. Little did he know (or my sister later on) that Ellie really flings what he have affectionately named her "bull riding arm" around when she has that rattle. Jennifer and Patches at different points in time took that very cute rattle right to the nose....

Next, we had decided that where Ellie stands so much, it would be good to get her some shoes. While we were out wasting time Monday at the mall, we stopped into Payless. The woman measured Ellie's feet and we tried on 4 different shoes. I LOVED them all!

So did Ellie. She cooperated with putting all of them on and would swing and stare at her feet with the shoes on. After we had taken them off, she still swung and stared at her shoeless feet for a while.

We ended up getting these as they were the most versatile for church and everyday use.

I still loved these though....
And now she is big enough to wear these adorable shoes my friend Kelly got for her when she was only a couple of weeks old because we thought they were so cute!

Best part of Ellie liking shoes.... She kept watching her feet all day, and had her mind blown when we went to a pet store in Northtown Mall that has a nocturnal room lit by a black light. Her new white shoes immediately lit up and she started trying to grab them. Everyone in the room was entertained.
And thus begins a lifetime love affair with animals and shoes. One is because she is a Bennett/Rose. The other, because she is a girl. Duh!

6 Months! (a little late)

As I posted earlier, Ellie turned 6 months old on the 12th. On the 16th she had her check-up and shots. You know, we tell everyone she's big, and people constantly tell us how big she is when we tell them how old she is, but it means a lot more with the facts.

For instance, it means more when the pediatrician's nurse comes in to the room and verifies that you're just there for a 6 month check up, and then tells you how big your baby is... It means more when you go through her clothes for the second time in two weeks and have to get rid of most everything. And when you have to pull out all of her larger 9 month clothing and all of her 12 and some 18 month clothing. And it fits her - perfectly. Crap.

It especially means more when the nurse tells you that your baby is 27 (and a little - whatever that means!) inches long and 19 lbs 9.5 oz! Which our doctor puts at 80-90th percentile for height and 95-97th percentile for weight. Don't worry, our doctor was sure to blame Steve for her being so big. Although, her big noggin is only at 60th percentile, which is better than Steve had thought.

Speaking of that noggin, she keeps getting sandier and we may have a blond before too much longer. If not, it's sure going to be light brown hair on that head. And she continues to get more hair! Soon we'll be able to put bows and clips in it I hope which will be good as almost all of her headbands are too small now...

Other developments:
Ellie is now working on table foods. So far she likes pieces of canned pears and peaches, green beans, fruit and yogurt drops and baby cereal treats, banana, spaghetti, and basically anything she can get her hands on.

She also likes her sippy cup and being able to just drink after oatmeal or snacks instead of having formula all of the time. She can do water bottles and cups, but we got her some sippy cups as this was the best we could come up with as something in our house for her to drink out of and thought it might be a little controversial outside the home...
She tries to giver herself the sippy cup sometimes which is funny, especially since she's content to just lay back and be fed a bottle.
Her language has EXPLODED this last week, and I wish I had anything on video to share but I don't. Her consonants are present in most of her speech and we hear lots of l's, m's, n's, d's, g's, f's, etc. It's also nice that she uses her regular, much lower pitches when she jabbers. One of my favorite parts of her new speeches are that they often end in or involve "fish lips." She purses her lips out and apart while making noises or just to move her mouth after she's done talking. She also likes sucking on her lips at random moments. Believe me, super cute.

Also cute, her love for music and books. First of all, anything Ellie doesn't want to do - get dressed, get buckled into her car seat, etc. is automatically much better if Steve and I are singing to her and she often won't cry or will calm down if we sing. Next, Ellie's love for books only grows. Lately, she wants to touch and hold her books during story time, and we have to take the book away just to turn the page. During this time, she is leaned completely forward and reaching out with both hands as far as she can till we turn the page and bring the book back. I know, we NEED to get it on video....

When it comes to sleep, Ellie has developed a new deep love - for blankets. Half the time we go in to check on her at night and all you see is a pile of blankets, and no Ellie. She loves snuggling with blankets and having one up by her face, as a result, she now sleeps with the blankets covering her face completely. Sorry, no good pictures of her buried alive....
She still often sleeps like this, and starts doing this no matter where or what position she is in when she is getting tired. Funny way of saying it's nap time...
Our girl is also a mover and a shaker. Any time we go in to get her out of the crib now she has turned, sometimes a full 180 degrees in the same spot. Other times she's traveled the length of the crib, is on her side holding the bars, or kicking the wall through the slats. Today, I found her on her tummy!

That's right, our girl can officially roll over on to her stomach now. At my parent's house two days ago we saw her go so far over on her side for a toy (she reaches further and further out now!) her stomach was on the ground, but she didn't quite finish the roll. Although I didn't see her do it, I feel like putting her to bed on her back and going in to find her propped up on her stomach is a pretty sure sign....

She's been an expert at rolling over from her tummy for weeks now and hardly spends time on her stomach anymore unless she has a toy she thinks is worth staying there for.

Ellie can also sit on her own although she doesn't do it very often. She'll sit up for 10 minutes on her own in someone's lap though. She continues to love to stand. We told the pediatrician that and she stood Ellie up. Then, Ellie refused to let her put Ellie back on the table in a sitting or laying position and I had to hold her standing so the doctor could finish up our appointment. Where do those stubborn genes come from???
Ellie also now loves her toys and has figured out her jumperoo toys, light-up and button toys, and her feet. Toys belong in her mouth. Period.
She's a total foot grabber, especially during diaper changes. She also has a renewed passion for fingers which means we are constantly giving her pacifiers lately and she likes those a lot right now too.

Teething has suddenly stopped without anything to show for it, and her jumperoo had to be raised a level recently. Basically, she just keeps growing! And as much as she is more and more fun each day, time is passing far too quickly for my taste!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

1st Valentines for Us All

It was Ellie's first Valentines day this year. It was also our first Valentines day as parents. And, we are now on hospital bill budget. We figured the day would be really low key and kind of lame... We honestly don't usually do anything on Valentines day anyway, instead going to dinner the weekend before or after.

Instead, it will probably go down as one of my favorite dates we've had. And we didn't go anywhere.

I decided just a couple of hours before Steve got home that Ellie and I would dress up for our Valentine to celebrate the day. And that I would clean up the kitchen and we could have a nice dinner while Ellie napped.
Things started out well, we were ready to surprise our Valentine when he got home from work. Steve ended up taking over dinner and every time I tried to help with dinner he had already taken care of what I was going to do.

We had a great Steak dinner prepared, and danced to Me and Mrs. Jones in our kitchen while dinner cooked. (I jokingly brought up Barry White on Pandora and we went with it. A lot of fun. I highly suggest it.) Just as we were about to take our first bites - Ellie woke up. Of course she did! Luckily she wasn't hungry so she hung out and babbled at us while we ate. And then filled the dinner time silence with the noises of filling a diaper. You'd almost think we were parents.
Basically, it was an amazing day. And we really enjoyed our 1st Valentines day as parents. Such a great first holiday with this little ray of sunshine!

"Little Abe Day"

Just as a note, the title is drawn from a Bennett family story about Steve that I was recently told and figured they would enjoy the reference....

We recently realized that Steve and Ellie get to share half and full birthdays. In other words, their birthdays are exactly 6 months apart. The result is that this past Saturday we got to celebrate Steve's "one year closer to death day" (his term obviously) and Ellie turning the big 6 months on the same day. So, how did we celebrate?

It was a beautiful day and we headed to Tri-Cities with our friends Kelly and Troy and their daughter Tess and checked out a gun show for a couple of hours. Then we walked to Red Robin for Steve's birthday lunch. I got to embarrass him and have the restaurant staff sing happy birthday, which was hilarious mostly because before they started singing Ellie had become exhausted without her nap and was in this position:Yup, we got lots of smiles as Steve and I took turns eating one-handed and holding her head up for her...

Anyway, once the waiters started singing Ellie woke up with quite the start and shrieked, making a couple of waitresses freak out and move rapidly from her... Too funny.

After the gun show we headed to the Zillah furniture auction for some entertainment, but they are sadly decreasing the auction more and more so there wasn't much to see and we left early. Instead, we headed to the Mabton boys and girls basketball games for districts which were conveniently in Zillah.

The boys killed. It was an amazing display! The girls unfortunately lost but were pretty much decimated by injuries and a short bench.

We got home LATE but Ellie was such a champ! We put her to bed and she babbled for a while. Where she only got a couple of cat naps and one good nap in the car we figured she'd be out quickly, but 40 minutes later she was getting louder. I went in to check on her to find that in the last 40 minutes she had:

- Untucked herself from her blankets (I tucked her in tight!)
- Turned herself 90 degrees in the crib to be facing the right way
- Started kicking the crib for fun freaking us out about what the noise was
- Messed her fresh bedtime diaper
- Decided she was starving

So she looked a little like this, only completely turned and feet kicking the crib....
Yup, I'd say she's 6 months old. And has all the attitude to prove it!
These pictures are from Saturday. Ellie actually left on her sunglasses (thanks Jen!) even though it wasn't very bright anymore...

Happy Birthday Steve! We love you!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Recent Ellie Fun

Of course, right after I posted the last blog, Ellie started doing more fun things. And, I realized I forgot to mention some of Ellie's latest developments. The first of which, is screeching...

This is what Ellie does when she is: excited, tired, wound up, etc. My hearing may never recover... And I think the neighbor's dogs may now be deaf.
Yup, really complaments the whimpering from the last blog, doesn't it? So awesome since her normal voice is lower than most other babies we've been around.

Next, literally the night I posted the last blog, Ellie found her feet - with her hands this time. She's been fascinated with them since she was only a couple of months old, but now she can actually get to them. She's playing with them in the video above, but bath time and naked/diaper change time are her favorite foot-grabbing opportunities. Feet are just so much more entertaining when they're bare...
Totally random, but our big girl is now wearing some 12 month clothes! Like these, her new jammies we got her while in Moscow. For about a week and a half, before we got serious about teething, she was even sleeping through the night in all of her giant baby glory! This was Ellie's first time sporting Vandal Gear. I-D-A-H-O! Idaho! Idaho! Go, Go, Go! (You ask even the most drunken frat guy what the UI fight song is and he can recite that part of it...)

Then, Thursday Ellie got a present in the mail. Santa brought her some great blocks with numbers and animals on them for Christmas. Without even knowing it, Aunt Julie paired her blocks with a much bigger and more elaborate alphabet set with shapes for building things down the road.

I just have to throw out there, that for anyone with small kids, you should check out the Just B. B. You toy company. I love the colors of their toys, the simplicity of a lot of them, their green initiative that they don't jam down anyone's throat, the fact that a portion of each toy gos to helping a children's charity, even the cute book of hilarious kids quotes they include in each toy. Anyone interested in this great company should check them out HERE.

Ok, back to Ellie. She loves her blocks. We are currently in a slam, drop, throw, and knock over phase with her toys. She likes to sit in her bumbo and grab a toy and then drop it and then look at it like, "huh, wonder why it's down there," or slam the toy into the ground or bumbo repeatedly, followed by an occasional outright chuck of the toy across the blanket she's on. New with these blocks, she really likes for Steve or I to build towers near her to knock down. Here's an example of her taking and repeatedly dropping blocks. We love watching the wheels turn...
video

Did I mention she really likes her blocks? Also notice, we are currently left-hand dominant. We've read kids go back and forth, but it's obvious in the video as well as based on where all her blocks were dropped in this picture.
This photo also makes us proud of our daughter who is years beyond her actual age in her development. I mean, this picture is reminiscent of photos of my sister Jennifer from ages 5 to 12 when this was the only way she smiled for pictures. So awesome. (Seriously, one of my favorite Ellie pictures to date.)

If you look really closely you can also tell her gums are swollen. Any doubt we had of Ellie teething has been removed painfully in the last 48 hours. We get sudden outbursts of crying during play time, naps, etc. which are only soothed by tylenol, baby orajel, cuddling, and sometimes a bottle (we all like our comfort food). We can also add lots of drooling and wet shirts, runny nose, and many more diapers to our fun list of teething symptoms. And, as of tonight, we can see two white swollen spots on her bottom gum. The teeth they are a-comin.

Lastly, as if I needed to tell anyone who's had a wife who stays at home with the kids or anyone who has met Ellie and Steve, our girl is really his girl... Ellie literally lights up when Steve comes home from work and laughs for him in a way she rarely if ever does for me. Daddy is fun, and less frequently seen and therefore much more exciting. Here is a quick snipit of an encounter that was literally within the first 15 or 20 minutes Steve had been home. And, as per usual, this is after she'd calmed down greatly. (I'm too slow with the camera at times)

video

Well, enjoy the gummy pictures of our girl while they last. Fairly soon her pictures will have teeth in them! Makes me kind of glad that as of Thursday we had to go all bottle with her. A baby with teeth sounds like a baby on formula to me....

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Such a BIG Girl!

I know it's been a while since I've added any pictures of Ellie, and she changes every day! For instance, she has more hair every day! And it keeps getting lighter to the point where she's going to have very light brown hair or become a darker blond. Anyway, this girl just keeps growing and growing! She is now wearing her 6-9 months clothes and even her 12 months jeans! Our home scale has her between 18 and 19 lbs and she stands higher than my knee now! (picture to come)

On to the latest news on our 5 and 1/2 month old.

Pretty sure thanks to this common pose and her chewing on our fingers whenever she can as well as her occasional very cranky attitude drooling that she is teething.

She also chews on her pacifiers quite a bit lately. Oh yeah, thanks to a friend, we discovered soothies which are the pacifiers you see in these pictures. Ellie will actually take these where she hasn't taken any other pacifier in a long time. (We're trying to replace finger sucking to make our lives easier down the road...) Our great friend Mary also gave us a "wubbanub" which is a soothie pacifier attached to a stuffed animal. She seems to really like these, especially when she's tired at night or having to do something she's not in love with, like get buckled into her car seat.
In addition to sometimes falling asleep with a pacifier, another sleep development as of late: blankets - on the face. Ellie always has a blanket up against her cheek at night or even over the top of her face at times. It's part of her falling asleep anymore.
Speaking of sleep, this girl really knows how to relax and enjoy her rest. I've actually gotten her up from naps where she slept like this for hours and has her fingers imprinted in the back of her head. And her head smells in those spots like vinegar from sweaty baby hands.... Yum!

This is another one of our big girl's recent developments. She wimpers. Seriously. Sometimes she sounds exactly like a dog. Here is all we have on video so far though.

We still love our food.The only thing we've found she doesn't like so far: bananas and pieces of bread. See? Oh, and the whimpering I mentioned....
video

Speaking of food. We are introducing one or two basic baby sign language signs and Ellie definitely knows the sign for food now. She calms down when we show her the sign, and sometimes gets excited. One day she even nodded! Twice! No, it hasn't happened since....

Ellie also still loves her baths. She winds up and gets her feet (which she now grabs only when they're put in her face during diaper changes) way up in the air and splashes so much she leaves puddles all over the bathroom floor!

Ellie still isn't rolling over consistently so we continue to work on it, and now we are also working on sitting. She's not a huge fan, so a friend lent us her Bumbo and she seems to be ok hanging out in it.
Although she may not be a huge sitter, she LOVES to stand! And it shows us how tall she has really gotten! She started standing some on her own today with something to back her up. She honestly doesn't need any support anymore, just something to balance her.
She also spends quite a bit of time on her side these days. (but won't roll over to her front on her own - although she likes tummy time more and more and plays with toys while on her tummy for a good 20 minutes now!)
And she continues to show more personality and attitude all the time.
See what I mean?

Definitely her father's daughter....