Tuesday, October 31, 2006


From Ellie the dragonfly and her friend Jack!

Meeting Uncle Robert

My brother, Robert, got to meet Eliana for the first time on this trip. He came after work on Friday and spent some time with her. It was wonderful to see them together and these are some of my favorite pictures from the week!

Ellie's First Plane Ride

Well, our trip to Texas was the first time Eliana had ever been on an airplane. We left from Bozeman and flew to Dallas, with a layover in Minneapolis. Ellie was perfect on both flights. She didn't cry or whine or anything. She slept and played happily and charmed everyone around her! Right before we deplaned in Dallas, we were waiting in the aisle to get off the plane and a lady sneezed. Ellie giggled. I'd only heard Ellie giggle a couple times before, but then the lady kept pretend sneezing and Ellie giggled each time, waiting for the lady to sneeze again. It was adorable and I wish I'd caught it on video! The sneeze/giggle routine went on about a dozen times. Mind you, I have yet to make her giggle, but the stranger on the plane could! Mommom made her giggle, too, and she laughs a little bit when you sneeze or cough at her. Silly girl!

As for things going wrong on our flights... I always have things go wrong when I fly. But the two times I flew while I was pregnant, everything went without a hitch, so I figured the baby was my cure for flight problems. Now that she's born, she's proved that theory wrong. We landed in Minneapolis and I made my way (with a baby strapped to my front and hauling a computer bag and diaper bag) to the display board only to find that my flight number wasn't on the board. I went to the first manned desk I could find and asked where I needed to be. She put in my flight info and said, "Oh - that flight was cancelled a week ago. I don't even know how you were able to get a boarding pass. You shouldn't have even been able to get on the plane in Bozeman. They've got you bumped to tomorrow's flight." I asked if there was anything she could do and she said she would try to put me on standby for an already overbooked flight out in a few hours, otherwise she booked me a seat on a flight that would go to Cincinnati and then to Dallas and arrive around 11:00 at night. After nearly freaking out at those options, and calling Leif and my parents, I talked to another woman who booked me on the "overbooked" flight. She said there were 3 seats open and gave me my choice. Then as I was waiting for my flight, they announced that the plane was being repaired and our flight would be going out on a smaller plane, so they needed people to give up their seats. I clutched my boarding pass and sat quietly. There was no way I was giving up my seat and flying out the next day! But really... how can they cancel my flight a week before I leave and NOT tell me? I got no notice, and was still able to print out my boarding pass. And never once did anyone I talked to apologize or anything. Not sure I'll be flying NW again if I have the option!

After that mishap, though, we got to Dallas and met my parents and made our way back to Longview, stopping to eat at a Cracker Barrel along the way. Ellie got to ride in a "big girl" car seat (one designed to convert from back to front facing) and was so cute clutching her rattle as she slept on the way home!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Home Again

Well, we're home. We arrived back from Texas late last night. For those of you who know me and know my horrendous luck with flying, nothing has changed. I'll post more later on that subject (let's just say that Ellie's first flying experience did not fall in the "uneventful" category), but wanted to let everyone know that we're home and the trip was great. Poppy got to spend hours on end staring at his granddaughter, Mommom got to make Ellie giggle (which is something else I have to post about later), Robert got to hold Ellie for the first time, and we got to see lots of friends. I'll try to post stories and pictures over the next few days. It was a good trip. And it's good to be home.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

My gift to her

Listening to this week's Quirks and Quarks, I heard a segment about why some folks sneeze when they walk out into the sun. Of course, this interested me because I am one of those weirdos. The explaination given for this behavior, which is known as photic sneeze reflex, is nerves from the eyes and nose suffer some degree of crosstalk, with intense optical sensation resulting in spurious "tickling" of the nose.

What does this have to do with the Wickland family? When we took Eliana home from the hospital, I carried her through the dark entryway and out into the gloriously sunny, beautiful day. Being a newbie father, I forgot to put the shade of her car seat up. She responded with a quick sneeze or two.

As it turns out, this trait is also known as ACHOO, where the 'A' stands for "autosomal dominant", meaning that the characteristic is genetically dominant. As far as I know, Elizabeth does not sneeze due to bright sun. By the laws of inheritance, sun sneezing is one of my little gifts to my daughter.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

More Pictures

More pictures from this morning, just to show how delightfully smiley Ellie can be sometimes. And to give my parents more expressions to look forward to when we come to visit on THURSDAY!

I think grilling season is over.

Because this is what I saw when I looked out the back door this morning.

We've got 2+ inches of beautiful, glittery snow! I love the first snow of the year. It makes me want to sit down with a cup of hot chocolate and my knitting and just snuggle in for a while. So I have done some knitting today - I pulled out some yarn I got last year and never did anything with and now I've got a great-to-wear-with-jeans scarf under way. Love this time of year! Because it was a chilly, snuggly day, I put Ellie into a fleece outfit and she is so cute in it! Mmmmm... snuggly comfy clothes.

And to celebrate the first snowfall of Ellie's life, we went outside to play in it! Her snowsuit is about 3 times too big, but it was adorable! My little snow angel. =)

Sunday, October 15, 2006

New Walker

We bought Eliana a walker tonight. It's not that she's ready to walk yet, she just likes standing up and looking around. We don't have a little seat or anything for her to work on her sitting balance with, either, so we figured this would be a good thing for her.

Neither Walmart nor Target had any walkers - seems the popular thing these days are stationary "activity centers". We want something that Ellie can wander around the family/play room in the basement with when she actually gets to the toddling stage, so a stationary spinning toy wasn't what we were looking for. We put it together (which was pretty easy, actually) and plopped her down into it. First off, her feet don't touch the ground yet, which means it's pretty cute when she kicks her legs in mid-air.

But Ellie played in it for a good while tonight and really seemed to enjoy it. I put some of those linking rings on the tray and she played with those some, but mostly just kicked her legs and looked around. I think she likes being able to sit up and see things.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Fall Beauty

It's been a good day so far today. Ellie slept in until almost 9:30 (that's a full 12 hours of sleep for her!). Then we had breakfast and got ready and headed over to Andrea's house for a Jam making party! Mind you, we didn't get there until after 11, and the party started at 9... so I got there just in time to stir a little apple butter and fellowship with other people. Met some new people, re-met some people, and spent some quality time with Andrea and Ashley after the others left. And I was reminded of how much I love the smell of fall - you know, apple butter simmering on the stove and all. I've got some of my own apples to process, so I might just have to make some apple butter instead of the apple sauce I'd been planning on. Mmmm..... Ellie's been a doll today and is sleeping peacefully right now. I need to pick up the house a bit and put away the laundry this afternoon. Grammee and Grandad are coming tonight, so Ellie should get plenty of attention tomorrow! Tomorrow is also the open house at the scrapbooking store, so I'll be spending a big chunk of my Saturday there. Maybe I can bring a project or two and work on them during the lull times. We'll see. Okay.... some of my favorite pictures from today...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Tummy Time

So Ellie hates tummy time. She usually screams and cries, or just flips over. I was watching a commercial for some baby product the other day, though, and noticed that the baby was leaning over a pillow for tummy time. I also remembered the packaging for our Boppy saying it was great for tummy time. So I gave it a try a few days ago. Works like a charm! Ellie's happy to be on her belly so long as her arms are free to move and play with things. She still doesn't want to do it for very long - 10 minutes at the most - but it's good practice for that crawling position. It's especially cute when she gets her little legs moving and inches her behind into the air. I've got to get a picture of that one of these days. It's too cute.

Ellie has also started preferring her daddy's company to mine in the last few days. When Leif gets home, she wants him to hold her. So last night Leif put Ellie's feet into the inside pockets of his coat, zipped it up, and toted Ellie around like that. She was just as content as could be as he walked around in this makeshift snuggli. They looked like a little totem pole! It was sweet as could be.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Fall Fun

I knew there was a reason this is one of my favorite times of year. And I will admit that Iowa was absolutely beautiful this time of year, especially down at the Nature Center and on the drive there. This is about the only time of year I miss the scenery in Iowa. But you sure can't beat the view of snow capped mountains over the blazing yellow cottonwoods when you're driving through town. It's breathtaking. I needed to get out of the house today, so Ellie and I ate lunch with Leif (Wednesday's Cosmic pizza day, you know) and then drove around Bozeman, enjoying the colors. I love being in the old part of town when the leaves are changing. Pretty much all the streets are lined with these big, tall, beautiful trees that leave their leaves swirling in the road when cars go past. It's pretty. We stopped at Bogert park and took some pictures of Ellie in the leaves, too. I've been wanting to take some of these and I think we got some today that turned out great. It wasn't until I got home and uploaded the pictures to the computer that I realized I'd taken the 10,000th picture on our camera. Wow. We've taken 10,000 pictures since we got the camera a couple years ago. Crazy. Anyway- Here are the pictures. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


Note to self: When putting baby to bed for the night, don't forget to put the waterproof diaper cover over the diaper.

Note to baby: Thank you for sleeping through the night even though you soaked through all of your layers of swaddling.


<---------------- In light of the approaching holidays, I updated the side bar on the blog and replaced baby registry links (though I left Target there) with wishlist links. =)

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Good Morning, Sunshine!

Our daughter is so delightful in the morning. We wake up to the sound of cooing and happy sqeals across the baby monitor. When we go into her room, she's usually laying in her crib, happily swaddled, entertaining herself by making noises.

We walk in and start talking to her, and she turns her head and smiles at us, which is just the perfect way to start the day.

We unwrap her swaddling blankets and she proceeds to streeeeetch and kick her little legs as though they were constricted all night long.

Then we pick her up and she chatters away at us, full of energy and ready to start the day!

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Our Little Angel

I got a new circle cutter today. And while that may not sound exciting to you, I was pretty giddy to be able to make thin rings with little effort. So I went to show Leif what my circle cutter could do and he rested the vellum ring like a halo on Ellie's head. Yes, some days she is truly angelic.

Other days she prefers the moniker "Super Ellie" - She just loves flying HIGH in the air. With a little parental supervision, of course. =)

Friday, October 06, 2006

Standin' Tall

For some reason, Ellie often prefers standing to laying down. Perhaps its because she is so fond of looking around and seeing the world. She's had the leg strength to support her weight for some time now, but the balance just hasn't been there. She's needed one of us to hold her torso for stability. Recently, though, her balance has improved considerably and she's been enjoying standing up, holding onto our fingers. As she's gained confidence, she's become a little more daring. =) Yesterday she held my hand with one hand and held the wire shelf of her changing table with the other hand while standing. And today, while performing the same trick, she let go of the wire rack, using only my hand for stability. It surprised her a little and she was wobbly, but she didn't fall down. She's only 2 1/2 months old, so I don't expect she'll be walking any time soon, and she'll probably lose interest in standing in the near future when she learns to do something else, but for now it's so cute to see her try to keep her balance amidst the wiggles and squirms of her little body.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Mirror, Mirror, on the wall...

Ellie has discovered the baby in the mirror! She was so cute today, smiling at the baby in the mirror, happy when the baby smiled back. I got a few pictures of her interacting with herself in the mirror. This is my favorite.

In other news, Ellie's new favorite passtime is blowing spit bubbles. Can't say I'm thrilled about it, but she has become quite proficient. Last night she had them all over her chin.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Daddy's Girl

Leif was playing with Eliana tonight and it was the most precious thing. She was cooing and squealing at him as he talked to her and played with her feet. I couldn't resist taking pictures...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Week Ahead

I can't believe it's already October. Where does the time go? I don't even have my fall decorations out. I'd better get on that or it'll just be time to put up the Christmas tree before I know it. Christmas?? Wait - that means I have to get Christmas cards out - eek! I'd better get started on those... breathe, breathe... one week at a time, Elizabeth. Whew. Okay. So this week seems a little busy compared to other weeks. (Though a year or two ago I would have considered this practically a vacation week - hardly busy at all!) We've got...

Monday - "Free" day... cleaning? crafting? putting out my fall decorations?
Tuesday - Play date with Andrea & kids (10:30)
Grocery shopping (at least Costco)
Thursday -Pick up class supplies from scrapbooking store
Dinner with the Koenens
Friday - Kitting Saturday's class
Saturday - Women's Breakfast at Church (8:30-10:30)
Teaching my first scrapbooking class! (12-2:30)
Church service (5:30)

One of these weekends we need to get together with the Varpnesses, too. And I need to spend one of those days kitting Saturday's class (probably Friday). But now that I write it all out, it doesn't seem like this week is so busy after all. I guess I'll survive. =)