Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ellie at 18 Months

Ellie turned 18 months old on Steve's birthday, February 12th. Her 18 month appointment was on the 16th of February, so that's where these stats are from. At 18 months old, Ellie is 34.25 inches tall, which places her at 97-98th percentile for her age group. I know, the pediatrician literally looked at us and said "You guys, she just hasn't stopped!" We know. We get to keep buying bigger and bigger clothes as she is now in 3T completely. Ellie is also 25.25 lbs which puts her in the 70th percentile for weight, and her head is in the 60th percentile. She also gets longer and curlier hair by the moment it seems.

Although her head isn't enormous, her vocabulary certainly is. The pediatrician told us she is WAY ahead in her language abilities, which doesn't surprise us as Ellie is a little parrot right now. She loves repeating the last words we say to her and trying to read books back to me. She also mimics our actions lately, like eating pretend snacks out of her empty hands, putting fake lotion on her face, etc. It's all pretty cute.

Ellie also certainly seems to be getting smarter by the day. She makes connections we in no way expect her to. She watched me put on deodorant all cock-eyed one day and I told her it was so I wouldn't be stinky. So Ellie says "stinky" (parrot, remember), runs to her room smiling, and comes back to me with her book "I Love You, Stinky Face" and sits down and looks at the book next to me. Later, I was telling my sister Julie on the phone how Ellie always picks out her scripture stories to read at bed time, and Ellie listens, runs to her room, and brings out her scripture stories to look at. That girl listens, and comprehends. We'd better be awfully careful what we say around her for sure!

My favorite story of her brilliance comes from yesterday, and Steve. Steve was with Ellie at the playground at our mall, and Ellie likes to go down the slide there. Apparently there was a little boy sitting at the top of the slide and he wouldn't go down, so Ellie climbed down the steps to the slide, and walked around till she found something shiny. Then she took the shiny thing, went back and climbed up the stairs, and showed it to the little boy. He looked at it, and then Ellie rolled it down the slide. The little boy followed after the shiny object and Ellie laughed, then proceeding to go down the slide. Talk about problem solving and manipulation all in one! Yeah, we're in for trouble when she's 13 and waaaay smarter than I am, but for now, it just makes me laugh. Hard.

Ellie also likes to "read" more and more of her books back to me after we read them. I love that she says "mama, mama" on pages of I Love You Stinky Face, which is what the little boy says at the beginning of about every other page. Tonight at bed time, she was saying "Naw-ness" to a page in a board book of Disney princesses on animals that had Lucifer the cat from Cinderella. I realized she remembered what the page said as it reads "Lucifer is a cat, but he's not very nice." I love that she was trying to say not nice to Lucifer.

Beyond that, Ellie continues to find new fun games. She loves buttons, and her belly button, all of which she calls "butt". She also loves Fraggle rock, Sesame Street (especially Elmo), The Cat in the Hat Knows a lot About That, or any other PBS kids show with music. I personally like that most of these are on Netflix, which is why we watch them.... That and the fact I only really let Ellie watch shows I can stand and approve of. I know, mean mom. Ellie just says "On! On!" to watch anything though, at home or on her DVD player in the car. She can be rather insistent...

One of her favorite past-times as of late is sitting with daddy and watching "ball" (basketball) or "boom" which is the computer game Plants vs. Zombies.

Ellie continues to become increasingly independent, but we're understanding each other better and better all the time, so her independence doesn't necessarily mean as many fits lately. Honestly, she really listens well and is a pretty fantastic kid. She definitely has a temper, but usually she throws micro-fits where she flails and then is done.

But, she also eats better lately and is getting much braver in trying foods. She will often try anything once when we try it in front of her - totally monkey see monkey do. But, she'll also try foods on her own and eat more variety now. For instance, we fed the missionaries last night and Ellie ate heavily seasoned steak, asparagus, mashed potatoes, and spiced apples. She also now likes cucumbers, fresh pineapple, raisins, and lots of other foods we don't think she'll like when we try giving them to her.

She likes to run, dance, play "blast-off" games, sit in her toybox and cover herself in stuffed animals,
do anything with Daddy (on a side note, we're going through a daddy withdrawal phase this week where Ellie randomly breaks down for Daddy, to be held by Daddy, and calls out for daddy throughout the day), play with toys, read books, sing songs (she now says sing, and tonight was singing the babies on the bus go waa, waa, waa with hand motions), and play with her new kitchen from Grandma and Grandpa Rose. She pretends to make food, make microwave button noises, washes her hands, cleans the stove with a washcloth, and uses a bowl and spoon to feed herself, me, and her baby doll. Here are a few pictures of her playing with her kitchen. The front of the fridge and freezer are magnetic, so that's what the little shapes are, and the side has chalkboard paint, and she really loves coloring on it lately.
We love all the personal touches Grandma and Grandpa added to Ellie's kitchen! For instance, the microwave time is 9:02 AM - the time Ellie was born. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!

And, here are a few pictures from Presidents Day weekend at Grandma and Grandpa's picking up the kitchen. Ellie really liked their spring horse, and learned the word horse as a result.
Aunt Jennifer and Cousin Wyatt. These are hats Kerry's friend Mary made for Ellie and Wyatt.

Oh, and our last exciting news is that we may be nearing potty-training! Ellie managed to open her closet door and fit herself inside, trying to close the door from the inside the other day, and it turned out it was because she was poop(ing or y, not really sure, didn't ask her for details) which is supposed to be a good sign. She also recently got into wipes at Grandma and Grandpa Roses and was wiping herself down under her dress. And, yesterday and today I got her to pee in the toilet! Not of her own will, but because I realized whenever we run the bath she reflexively pees. And, it worked! So, that may be our way of introducing Ellie to potty training in the near future. Although, based on the little I know about potty training, I'm not sure if I'm more excited or disgusted by the prospect.... But, on the bright side, Ellie now sings a rousing version of "If you're happy and you know it pee on the potty" where she fills in "happy" and the "pssssss" sound at the end of each phrase. I know I'm awesome.

Valentines Day 2012

Last year I started what has hopefully become a nice tradition for our Valentines Days as a family. Ellie and I dress up nice and when Daddy comes home from work we make a nice dinner in. So, being clinically insane, this is how I let Ellie play all day - and miraculously managed to keep her clean.
Ellie loves these zoo animal puzzle magnets Grandma and Grandpa Bennett got her for Christmas. And seems to have figured out how to match them already! She likes the song when they're all matched up....
This is how I looked waiting for Steve to get home.
And this was my nice Valentines gift from Steve. We'd agreed not to get any big gifts for each other, but I didn't mind getting flowers in the least bit.
We went out and about after Steve got home, planning to get Ellie something small and a few supplies for dinner. We had planned to get Ellie a balloon as she loves seeing them at stores, but she was tired and for some reason terrified of the big character Valentines balloons at Walmart. So, we found a book she LOVES and has us read at least daily called "Elmo Loves You". And that was her gift.

Oh the differences between Steve and my dinners that night. Here is what Steve ate: king crab and steak. I know there's asparagus on his plate, but I ended up eating it. He figured why waste room with good asparagus when there was meat to be had.
Here is what I ate: steak, potatoes, and asparagus.
Ellie enjoyed a few bites of steak and asparagus but was pleased with her cheesy baked potato.

After dinner we tried to grab a quick family photo before Ellie ran wild.
And talk about going wild, she went positively native! She even started cooking her beloved Elmo! She still loves Elmo, but when it comes to trying to choose between cooking and playing with Elmo, why choose at all?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

One Proud Mama

So I had intended on our next blog post being about Ellie's 18 month stats and our Valentine's Day. I was planning on writing it after Ellie's 18 month appointment tomorrow. But, sometimes something happens you just are bursting to share and you have to blog it right away. And when you teach swim lessons for a living (sort of a piece of a living really...) then the first time your child blows bubbles is one of those moments. Ellie can blow bubbles with a bubble wand, so I knew she could physically control her breath to do it, and then she started copying my noise and putting her mouth near the water a few days ago after I tried to show her in the pool at work last week. But today, she just up and did it! There is no way I expected her to figure it out where I couldn't show her actually putting my mouth in her bath water, but she is too smart for such obstacles to keep her from bubble-blowing mastery! So, without further ado, here is our Ellie girl blowing bubbles!

Please, disregard the ridiculous woman in the background. We don't know who she is, but she seems to intrude upon a lot of our family videos....