Wednesday, May 25, 2011

9 month stats

Yesterday Ellie had her 9 month check-up. I figured I would share her stats and brag about how huge she is! Ellie's head is 44 cm according to the nurse, which keeps her head size consistently in the area of the 60th percentile. She is 30 inches tall which puts her in the 97 to 98th percentile for height. And among kids her age who are above the 97th percentile she ranks about 80th percentile for weight. She's probably actually a little heavier than they weighed her in at - 21 lbs, as she had a stomach bug the night before and threw everything up and refused to eat all morning before her appointment.

Yeah, one of Steve's co-workers brought in his daughter for her 12 month appointment and we all commented on how tall she was. Then she came and stood next to Ellie and they were almost the exact same height! We didn't realize that she was already 2.5 feet tall!

Another random tidbit is that as of yesterday we get to fight to brush her teeth. Now she has 4, it's time to brush!

Here are some fun pictures of our huge girl from today. First, her making some funny faces. This girl has a million expressions, and almost all of them make me laugh. The first one is part of what she likes to do lately where she squeezes her hands, or whatever she is holding, and acts like she is working so hard she has to grit her teeth and her head literally shakes slightly.
Yeah, when you get looks like this for no reason at 9 months.... 16 is gonna be rough.
She also likes to stand and hold on to her crib now. I have to stand her up, although she's starting to reach for the coffee table, couches, etc. But once she's there, she likes to stand there and stare at me - while occasionally licking the crib. Don't ask - I have no idea.
She isn't crawling yet, just army crawling, but she spends more and more time on her hands and knees thinking about moving.
And she's pretty close to being able to sit up on her own too. She just doesn't pay attention to what she's doing enough to know this.
Yup, she is too stinkin cute. And will hopefully finally be healthy again soon. Poor girl has had an eye infection and a stomach bug all in the last week. Welcome to spring time baby girl...

Friday, May 20, 2011

Scootching!

Ellie is mobile! Beyond rolling and pivoting on her belly I mean. I guess it's more appropriate to say she is more mobile. We're not quite to crawling yet, but you'll see in the video it sure won't be long. I know, I know, we shouldn't be excited about this as it means she'll be getting into everything soon, but it's so fun to see her figure things out and develop new abilities!

There's nothing fancy about this video as it's fairly long anyway, just her scootching to get "toys" she's not usually allowed to play with time and time again. Enjoy! We sure are!

video

In other news, Ellie also cut her 4th tooth on Wednesday while I was sick in bed. It's not another front tooth. Instead it is the smaller incisor just to the left of her front tooth she already cut. Funny, I know, but what else should we expect from our silly girl? So, these are the teeth she has cut now. Who knows what will come through next?!
Oh, and here are a few cute pictures of her from last Sunday before our whole house got sick.I know, it's so exciting! Not only does she look cute (as always), but she also has enough hair to constantly re-clip a small bow into! And yes, I am just silly enough to fight that losing battle...

Friday, May 13, 2011

9 Months!

Our Ellie girl turned 9 months old yesterday. Can you believe it? We sure can't! She is growing so fast and practically a toddler it seems!

New things about Ellie:
Her third tooth started to break through last Saturday - her top left one. And the next one it looks like she's working on? Not her other front tooth, but the smaller incisor to the left of the tooth that just broke through! Ok, so she'll look like she's in the IHL. That's Infant Hockey League to all of you "keep my baby safe" parents. Pshhh.

She also loves her johnny jump-up now and tries to jump in her walker, on our lap at church, on my stomach, or any random time she feels like jumping, which she loves to do. She got up on her hands and knees for the first time last night and bobbed there for a few seconds, so we're probably not far from crawling now. She also is actually starting to hold on to objects she's standing against instead of looking all over the place so she falls, although she still does that a lot too.
One new big development - self feeding! She can now feed herself crackers, vanilla wafer cookies, graham crackers, cereal puffs, and yogurt melts. Ellie also likes taking big bites out of banana pieces now too. She's still totally our garbage disposal though and will eat anything we giver her including: chili, bbq chips, lemonade, pita bread, and string cheese, just to name a few of the random things she's tried just in the last week or so.

This video is from earlier today. In about a week she went from not feeding herself anything to being a pro!
video

In the same time we went from not holding anything to loving to hold her own sippy cup (thank you new cups with smaller mouths and handles) and occasionally the bottle. Ok, really she has to be at an incline or laying down to mast these things, but it's progress! Sometimes her wanting to control the bottle does more harm than good, and other times she just wants to chew on her bottles and sippy cups, but oh well. Our independent girl gets more independent... Sad in some ways, but so exciting to see her master new skills!

Ok, you can all tell me we're terrible parents, but she doesn't actually fall asleep with a bottle, and never with juice. However, she does sometimes realize only when she's in her crib that she is starving and really should load her stomach up before napping. We've tried all sorts of other things, but she'll take a bottle in the crib, finish, and then roll over and go to sleep. (By the way, isn't her crib set sooooo cute! That's the set Grandma Reva and Erin made for her, and I LOVE it!)
Speaking of sleeping, we don't get much that isn't interrupted here anymore. I don't know if it's teething, upset stomach, bad dreams, not eating before bed, but whatever it is, she gets up at some random time of night lately for a bottle and/or cuddles.

More on sleep: isn't she awesome?

Typical naptime position anymore - on her side with no covers, only a blanket to cuddle with. Just a matter of where I find her in the crib when I go in to cover her up (and shift her in the case of this picture).

Let's see, more on Ellie right now. She loves chewing on blankets, especially whatever light blanket we put in there for her cuddle blanket. She also just continues to chew a lot in general right now - thank you continuous teething. She recognizes and calms down for the sight of tylenol and orajel....

We still watch cartoons in the morning and now she thinks Super WHY is awesome! It's a reading show that isn't too bad, although I myself enjoy "The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot about That".

She can now work her popper toy and also likes her stuffed animal toys and chewing toys a lot lately. We took her swimming about a week and a half ago, and she loves being in the water, even at a chilly 81 degrees! She's also so laid back about water she took her shower before and afterward like a champ!

Well, that's most of the major things for now I think. Ellie gets more independent by the day, and cuter too! We are excited to see how huge she is at her 9 month check up in a week or so since she's outgrown most of her clothing and we're going to have to start buying her 18-24 month clothes here soon. That's right, in this household we don't believe in having tiny babies. Steve wants her to grow big so she can be the post for her basketball team that I only dreamed I was...

RIFFED

That's right, today, on the very ominous Friday the 13th, Steve got riffed. So did three other teachers in the Mabton School District. Basically, due to stimulus funds drying up, the district was over budget and decided that they needed to get rid of 4 full time teachers. More classified staff will be eliminated later in the year as they get their final budget from the state.

Ok, so before people start consoling us, we're fine. Really. First, we SO appreciate the outpouring of support and anger people feel on our behalf, and it means A LOT that students and staff members are upset about our leaving. Steve and I really feel invested in the Mabton community, especially the students. (even if I admittedly haven't been there very much since Ellie was born)

However, this is where the blessings of the Gospel come in. Steve and I have felt that we maybe shouldn't be in Mabton/Prosser anymore since October when A LOT happened all at once - all negative. Then, as things calmed down, we decided to wait and see what happened, but we still got our answer in the way of definite feelings and promptings that it was time for us to be moving on after this school year. We didn't know we would get riffed till today, but this only confirms that whatever Steve needed to be in Mabton to do, he has done all he can for now, and it's time to move on.

So, we have been prepared for this. We were fairly certain it was coming all week, and were able to take it in stride. Steve already has his application packet ready to go and we are applying for jobs. So...

THANK YOU to everyone who has said or will say that they want us around. It's so nice to know that the energy Steve has invested in the kids has meant something. We so appreciate the support. But, life brings change, and we're ready to embrace it.

Beyond, now we can collect unemployment starting in September if we don't find a new job. Awesome!

Monday, May 9, 2011

1st Official Mothers Day

Well, my first official mothers day was like any other woman's... It included crying (both mine and Ellie's), my child continuously screaming in public so everyone could hear her, resulting doubt about my abilities as a mother, guilt for losing patience with my child, and then.....

Thank goodness for that and then! Basically, Ellie had a ROUGH day at church. Yep, you can always feel like a jerk about your parenting when you lose it at church... Anyway, she started cutting her left front top tooth on Saturday. Yay! And now looks like as it comes through it's either bothering, or encouraging the smaller tooth to the left of it to come in. If it comes in next, she'll look awesome! Anyway, this has led to lots of interrupted sleep, poor eating occasionally, and some grumpiness. But Sunday started out fine. Then, we learned a couple weeks ago that we can go lay Ellie in a dark quiet classroom and she will nap and be much happier for the rest of church as a result of a little cat nap during the 1st hour. (Unfortunately we have 9:30 church. Any guesses at what time Ellie naps EVERY DAY?)

Well, I went and laid her down in a class room and she started to cry and yell. I gave her a minute to see if she'd calm down. No. So, I tried feeding her. No luck. Well, how about orajel? Nope. Ok, sometimes if she's really upset she won't eat even though she's hungry till she's had tylenol - she knows what the bottle looks like and knows it helps. So, tylenol and a bottle? Nope. By this time, giving her time to try to calm down each time, it had been a while. And, we'd gotten progressively louder, so I knew when I was preparing a bottle down the hall, hearing her scream, that people in the chapel with the doors to the chapel open could hear her too. Oh well. We'd also gained Daddy's support in trying to calm the beast. No luck.

I finally gave up and went and just held her and lost it in a dark classroom right by the chapel. Eventually, she started to calm down and snuggle in. That's right! I said snuggle! Like, we spend a good 15 minutes cuddling and rocking till she went to sleep in my arms. Anyone who knows Ellie knows she is one independent little gal, and she is a put me down and let me go to sleep type of kid. So I don't think she's fallen asleep being held 5 times in the last several months, and she definitely only snuggles when it means she's getting a bottle. And even then, I snuggle her while she ignores me and eats.

But, there it was, a cuddly Ellie! Obviously not feeling good, but still! Eventually she tried to stretch out in my arms and I laid her down asleep on the floor for the last short minutes of Sacrament meeting. I was totally spent during church as a result and couldn't appreciate how rare an opportunity I'd been granted.

Later that afternoon, after church, she cuddled with me for a good 15 or 20 minutes till she fell asleep in my arms again. It was so nice! By now I could appreciate that what had seemed like Ellie hell-bent on making my 1st mothers day question having more children, turned into a fabulous gift from my little girl.

It was so nice to get to cuddle after so long. It was great to feel needed. It was such a special time to know Ellie wanted me for comfort. It was a fabulous Mother's Day gift.

So, that's a long story that probably seems pointless to many of you, but one I want to remember, a tender moment between Mother and Daughter (that still sounds insane!) that I will enjoy as my 1st Mother's Day with my child. And here is a picture of my little stinker later that night.

By the way, I also got a great little book from Reva that really touched me and I appreciate so much! And Steve got me a really pretty necklace with a heart shaped pendent with Ellie's birthstone in it which I love having a reminder of her. Anyway, to all those women who mothered and guided me in some way at some point in time, I hope you all had a fabulous mother's day!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Funny Naps

This girl CRACKS ME UP! Lately she almost always sleeps on her side, in some weird part of the crib, without blankets on. She's pretty hilarious.

Best sleeping position - ever.
I just had to take some pictures before I put blankets on her and left her to nap - I wasn't sure I could adjust her without waking her up from this one... I know, she's AWESOME!

Prosser Park

Last Sunday the weather was so nice that we took Ellie to the park to go on slides and swings for the first time. She didn't seem to care much about what we did with her, enjoying games on the swing and smiling a few times on the slide but remaining neutral the rest of the time.

Here are a few fun pictures from our day at the park.

First, Ellie's first time on a swing.

Then Daddy decided to taker her down some slides, and I took a turn too.
And here, is a squirrel that cracked us up using the drinking fountain.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Power of Example

We've heard a number of times that younger siblings develop faster because they watch their older siblings do things and then imitate those older children. Today we got to see this principle in action.

Up until now, Ellie has picked up her small treats, even put them to her mouth a few times, but with no intention of feeding herself. I can help/force her to put treats to her mouth but she usually drops them on the way or smashes them in her hand - obviously these are better uses of the food since eventually I will feed her....

But today, Ellie watched our friend Kelly's baby girl Tess, who is about 1.5 months older than Ellie, eating graham crackers. She just stared. Kelly asked if we wanted a graham cracker for her and we took a small piece even though we weren't sure what Ellie would think of it. She took the piece of graham cracker and immediately put it in her mouth, something we've been trying to help her do with her smaller treats for quite some time. She just took it right back out, doing this a few times. So I broke off a small piece for her to try, and she enjoyed it. I helped her get the cracker to her mouth to see what she would do, and she proceeded to feed herself the rest of the cracker! It was great!

We don't have any graham crackers at home, but we wanted to reinforce this behavior, so we got out some butter crackers we bought the other day and handed her one. She fed herself right off, and even figured out biting pieces of cracker off after a little while! So, we are excited. Our little girl is self feeding for the first time, and we hope this will lead to lots of Ellie created food messes as she becomes a more independent eater. Needless to say, we will be buying graham crackers soon.
Oh, and the reason the camera is being ignored for the most part... Two words. NBA playoffs.