Monday, July 29, 2013

Ellie is 10 months old! STANDING UP!!

My baby girl is 10 months old today. It makes me want to weep just thinking about it... she can't possibly be that old already! Double digits! Craziness!

I realized that I don't take enough cute pics of the kids (ha!) so we headed to the park today to take some. Here is what we came up with:

Ellie 10 month favorites

Ellie is growing by leaps and bounds. This past week she started pulling herself up to stand and now is trying to master balancing so she can move her feet once she's up. She also crawls super fast and puts anything/everything in her mouth.

Ellie loves to play with stacking cups (she actually will nest them on her own) and books that have lift the flaps or pages to turn. She also likes to hand things to me (and then take them back)... she thinks it is a game. Unfortunately, Ellie still has pretty severe separation anxiety and wails when I walk away from her (even if Eliot is with her). This, I'm sure, is what is getting her (and me) up 2-3 times per night still... she realizes I'm not in the room and freaks out.

Even so, during the day she is a happy-go-lucky baby who is pleased as punch to just hang out on the floor and play with whatever. She loooooves her cheerios and has pretty much completely switched over to feeding herself. She also seems to understand a few phrases (like "close the book") and can sign "All done"! And she babbles "ma ma ma ma" when she's sad and wants me. <3 p="">
We are marching towards a year, and I'm just not ready. Someone slow time down, please!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

It finally happened!!

James was accident-free all day today!! We've been giving him a new matchbox car every time he has a success in potty training (nothing else motivates him), and now FINALLY he is getting it, and with minimal waiting! I'm so excited I could go myself lol! It only took about a week and 30 or so matchbox cars, which is cheaper than diapers/pull-ups anyway. We still have a ways to go, he's nowhere near fully trained, but he's doing very well!

One of the unforeseen benefits of him "peeing on the poppy, get a cow!" is that I am teaching him the names of all the classic cars. He in particular likes his Chevy Nova and Mini Cooper and will walk around looking for them and calling them by name. He knows every stinkin' car he owns, which is like 40 by now. And he KNOWS if one is missing! We've spent lots of nights looking for "my new van" or "the daddy car" before he goes to sleep. He definitely has favorites, but no one car is his absolute can't-live-without-it favorite.

Another cute thing he said today, when I was explaining to him how sunscreen works and why it is important, he said,"mommy, I put toothpaste on so I don't get burned!" Because he thought
the sunscreen was a tube of toothpaste! :-) 
That's my boy!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

A couple fun things about Ellie and James...

James and Ellie had a doctor's appointment today. They are in general in good health, which we are grateful for. Here are their stats:

James at his 3 year well-baby visit:
Height 37.5" (42nd percentile)
Weight 29 lbs (13th percentile)

Ellie at her 9 month well-baby visit:
Height 26.75" (16th percentile)
Weight 18 lbs (44th percentile)
Head 16.9" (25th percentile)

Some fun things James says (or the way he says them):
Bumum= Button
Bana= Banana
Cows= Cars
Ewwie= Ellie
Ah me ah me ah me= Let me do it
"Ah! The cows are chasing us!" (He thinks the cars are chasing us when we drive places)
"I go wound and wound and get dizzy in the pawking gwage!" (On driving around to find a spot in the parking garage at the doctor's office)
"Daddy get my fan!" (He thinks the new van we are getting is HIS van only.)
"The shoo fly flies around!" (He thinks all flies are called shoo flies since I sang that song to him one too many times...)

Fun new things that Ellie does:
Waves when you say hi and wave to her
Crawls super fast to get whatever she wants
Eats small cut-up food using her pincher fingers
Laughs when you laugh (ok, that's not new, but it sure is cute!)
Turns pages of books
Tries to pull herself up to stand
Says "Mama," "dada", "Gah," "Baba," and a few other babbling words
Eats cheerios like they are going out of style...even ones she finds on the floor. :-/
Snuggles her head into you
Sleeps through the night MORE OFTEN THAN NOT!!! (This is huge, it just started happening this week!)
Splashes in her new little wading pool! :-)

Ellie's first plane trip!

June 6th-10th this year we traveled as a family to Lake Geneva, WI to see my cousin Kayla get married. It was an exhausting but very fun trip. We stayed at a hotel with an indoor waterpark called Timber Ridge Resort, and we met up with my cousin Cameron and his family often who were staying down the hall from us. They had two children even younger than ours, so the eight of us together was a circus!

The flight there went well... for the first two hours. Then both kids just had enough. They spent the second two hours alternately wailing, so we didn't have a single moment of "break" time. It was exhausting, frustrating, and not something I'm looking forward to doing again. Not to mention our 8 bags, 2 carseats, and a stroller that we had to lug around. People would pass us and say, "They have their hands full." No kidding.

Once we got there, though, things improved slightly. We got a free upgrade to a sweet minivan (which led us to ask ourselves, "why don't we have one of these?"), and the kids slept a lot of the way to the hotel. Having a separate bedroom in the hotel made all the difference in the world with how well we all slept, and I was grateful for it after that long day of travel!

Our time there was mostly spent playing in the water (Ellie's first time in a pool!!), hanging with family, and going for walks in Lake Geneva. My dad and Nathan and Lindy (sans kids) also came, which was fun.

The wedding was beautiful and we loved being there, but of course both kids acted up. James started yelling about "MY SNACK!!" during the vows and Ellie just started "talking" a lot during the ceremony. We spent the entire evening chasing James (literally) except for when we were blissfully sitting down to eat and they were strapped in and couldn't move. Needless to say, we called it an early night.

My favorite moments from the trip included:
James and Ellie meeting their great-grandpa and our other relatives
Walking along the quiet shores of Lake Geneva
Eating pizza with Cameron's family
Dancing with the kids
Watching James and Lily (Cameron's little girl) play together in the garden at the wedding
Seeing Eliot cuddling Ellie in the Ergo while she slept
Floating down the lazy river with James for a half hour
Going down the green slide with James (Eliot's memory)
Seeing James's excitement when he watched our plane pull up to the gate

Overall it was a very fun trip and I'm so glad we went. Ellie is a great little traveler... as long as she has her sleep! :-)

Here are our pics from the trip!
Trip to Wisconsin 2013

James and Ellie's first trip to the ZOO! And Multnomah Falls!

Recently Mimi (Eliot's mom) came to visit us for James's 3rd birthday. It was a very fun week with lots of activities... among them was Ellie and James's first ever trip to the Zoo and Multnomah Falls! (Well, they had been to the zoo for zoolights, but that was a bit different). Papa (my dad) joined us as well, so we had quite a team exploring the wild animals!

Before we went to the zoo, we stopped at Multnomah Falls since it was on Mary Helen's list of must-sees. James loved it, he kept saying, "The wa wa falls down!" (I've been trying to teach him to say water ever since my mom accidentally taught him to say wa wa months and months ago... no luck!). We hiked up to the bridge and could feel the cool spray on our faces. It was just breathtaking... also harrowing as I tried to keep my rambunctious 3yo and squirmy 8mo from going over the side of the bridge!

After that, we headed (a little late) to the zoo and got stuck in traffic. I'd forgotten about traffic... it doesn't really happen where we live!

At the zoo, I think James's favorite animal was the bears... they were right up near the glass and he could see them really well. He was mostly fascinated with running down the paths, over the exhibits, and looking in the windows. We had to hustle to keep up with him, but we all had fun!

Ellie spent the whole time in the stroller or Ergo peeping out at the world. I think she liked the sights and sounds, and she and I had a peaceful time together nursing on a bench near the elephants while Eliot chased James in the grass. She just munched on her Cheerios and was pretty happy. :-)

After all was seen (except the elephants because we were hustling to the train, and then we went the wrong way and missed the last train of the day... doh!), we went back to my dad's house for some BBQ and wonderful dinner together before packing everyone like sardines into our Altima and driving 2 hours back to Eugene. It was a loooong day, but a fun one!

Here is a photo album of our adventures!
Zoo 2013

Ellie's First Fourth of July!

I am a few days late posting about this, but we recently celebrated Ellie's first 4th of July! To kick off the day, I made the kids homemade buttermilk waffles with blueberries, strawberries, and cool whip. Then we hung around the house till after naptime, when we headed over to Island Park here in Springfield for the annual Lights of Liberty celebration. They had a ton of things to do for the kids... a "tattoo" station, duck prize pool, hoola hoops, a big slide, a photo booth, and more! It was a beautiful day with perfect  warm, sunny weather.

We decided to come back home and have a BBQ at our own house. We put Ellie to bed first so she could get some sleep before the fireworks later that night. Then James, Eliot, and I ate hot dogs, potato salad, baked beans, and corn on the cob on the back porch.

 James kept asking me to hold his little flag all day, so when we got in the car at 9pm to go see the fireworks, he was thrilled to hold his American flag and wave it around! We set up camp near a small creek that had some natural mint growing in the grass (smelled soooo good) and Eliot and I took turns taking James over to check out the stage featuring some country music band.

It was getting pretty late (10pm) when the fireworks started. Ellie cuddled with her Daddy in the Ergo and James and I curled up under a blanket on the ground. James kept alternating between saying, "Wow! Whoa!" and "I want to go home and go night night." :-)

All in all, a very fun first Independence Day for my little sweetheart!

Here is photo album of the day's events:

4th of July 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Ellie is 9 months old!!

Ellie turned 9 months old this past Saturday, while we were in Bend celebrating our friend Katie's wedding. Here are a few developments with our little Miss Eleanore:

She is CRAWLING!! She started crawling at 8 months and 3.5 weeks on her knees. Before that she was just getting up with one leg sticking out to the side and then pushing down to her stomach. Now she is full-on crawling and into EVERYTHING!

She eats anything she finds on the floor. I've found the following things in her mouth recently (much to my chagrin)- My laptop power cord, a piece of plastic bag, James's cars, old cheerios from the floor, a used tissue, Eliot's foot. :-)

She babbles ALL the time. She started by saying ba ba ba, then ma ma ma, then gah, and now combinations like "gah ba ma." It's shocking to us to hear it because I'm pretty sure James was silent until well into his first year. I'm excited that she is showing speech sounds so early... it is the first thing that really stands out to me that separates my experience with her from her brother. I've never had a baby communicate with me like this this early!

She eats almost anything we put in front of her. She LOVES her cereal puffs and gets all happy by kicking her legs when she hears me shake the container. Ellie has moved on to picking up foods and self- feeding largely... she has the pincer grasp now with her thumb and forefinger.

Ellie is starting to warm up to strangers. She used to have a lot of separation anxiety and stranger anxiety, but she's growing out of it. Thank goodness.

She likes her play kitchen, she spends a lot of time opening and closing the doors. She also likes to turn pages and is pretty good at turning the pages when we read together.

I could go on and on, but suffice to say we love our little jelly bean and are so happy that she is (for the most part) easy-going and pleasant to have around.

Now to go put up those darn gates again...