Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Christmas Coats

I have been promising for a long time to post pictures of Ellie and me in the coats my brother made for us for Christmas. Well, I am finally owning up to that promise. Here they are!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Push Ups

Eliana has been doing push ups all morning. Sometimes she uses them to scoot herself backwards, but more often than not she just pushes up, then goes back down. Here are pictures of our little push up champion:

the set up

the push up

Thursday, February 15, 2007


Yesterday Eliana and I took a walk to the mailbox and back and I took my camera so we could go snowman hunting as well. With all the recent snow, it's been fun to see the snowmen popping up in people yards, with little footprints all around. Here are a couple of my favorite ones:

Leif and I don't usually celebrate Valentine's Day ON Valentine's Day. Leif doesn't like someone else telling him when he has to buy his wife flowers, so he usually gets me something a few days before or after the holiday. On Tuesday he brought me a dozen roses and some candy and we planned on going out for dinner on Thursday.

Instead of spending money to go out for Valentine's dinner, I surprised Leif with a candle light steak dinner. Well, he still had to do the grilling, but it was a nice way to spend Valentine's Day anyway.

We shoveled a path on the deck to the hot tub, but then Leif started working on his homework and I cleaned up my craft room, so we didn't get to use it. When I got up this morning, then, there was another layer of snow. Just a dusting, really, but it meant that my nice shoveled path was gone. Here's our back yard in all of its snowy glory:

In Ellie news, she is outgrowing her clothes very quickly these days. Something will fit one week and not the next. This is her latest victim. It's official. She is now wearing 3-6 months clothes. We got a lot of use out of those 0-3 month things! Now I wonder if she will wear 3-6 month stuff for the next 6 months. I guess we'll see!

I'm going to go back to crafting now, so I leave you with this picture to remind you to stay warm and have a good evening!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

What did you do today, Eliana?

"I fed myself some banana..."

(This is the first time Eliana has ever fed herself,
and the first time she ate something that wasn't pureed.)

"I played with my table standing up..."

"I played with my keys..."

"I cried just a little when I wanted to be held..."

(This picture is for those of you who don't think she ever cries -
- she does on occasion.)

"... and then I played with my doll."

Snow is great

... until you have to shovel 6 inches off the driveway in order to get your car out, and then the garage door freezes in the 'up' position because it took you so long to shovel. At least it was the nice, fluffy snow that doesn't kill your back to shovel.

I can't complain, though, because in the almost four years we've lived here, guess how many times I've had to shovel the drive? Including today, TWICE. Yeah, Leif takes care of me. Thanks, hon!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Winter Wonderland

It's been snowing last night and all day today. Not very hard this afternoon, but there are still flakes falling. We've got 4-5 inches of snow on the ground and it's supposed to keep snowing like this for the next day or so. Everything is white and beautiful.

Friday, February 09, 2007


Today I invited Renee over so we could make Valentine's cookies. We haven't been able to get together and craft the last couple weeks, so it was good to just hang out and bake. While we get our playing done, Ellie and Bryce (her year old son) also get to play together. Usually there's not much interaction between them, but today he had Ellie's full attention - He'd blow raspberries and she just giggled and giggled and giggled. It was priceless.

The Incredible Dissappearing Ellie!

Now you see her.....

Now you don't.
Sometimes she's so excited about being naked that she just can't stay still.

How was YOUR breakfast?

Ellie didn't much care for hers. I tried to feed her squash (which she normally likes just fine) and she refused it. Repeatedly. But at least I got her making this face on video, since she makes it a lot!

Sleeping in the Swing

The other day I had Ellie playing in the swing while I did some stuff in the kitchen. She seemed to be very persistent in pushing the buttons on her key toy and it was making quite a racket. I finally went over to see what she was doing, and this is what I found:

(The honking noises are coming from her toy, which I assume is wedged between her and the tray of the swing.)

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Let's see.... the other day I got to pretend to be a mom of two when I babysat for Sam and Catherine's year old boy Tjabe. Catherine was all ready to take Tjabe to the sitter so she could attend a meeting for work when the sitter called and said her own kids had pinkeye. Eek! So Tjabe came and played with us for a few hours, which made Ellie very happy. Here are the cuties:

I don't know if I mentioned it before or not, but when Ellie was younger she had a tendency to suck her thumb. So, we started giving her a pacifier, knowing that you can take a pacifier away at a later time, but you can't take her thumb away. Well, about a month ago Eliana decided that she is no longer interested in a pacifier. She'll play with it, or chew on it, but she doesn't suck on it (or her thumb or anything) for comfort. She weaned herself from the pacifier by 6 months. Woohoo! I figured we'd cross that bridge when we came to it, but now we don't have to. Oh yeah - we also don't have to swaddle her to sleep anymore. We usually still swaddle her for bed at night, but not always and its no longer a necessity.

Ellie LOVES to ride around on Leif's shoulders. She grins and giggles and holds onto his hair and ears. It's cute. Personally, I think Leif likes it just as much as she does.

On the crawling front, we still lack mobility, but Eliana is getting stronger. She's gotten her belly a tiny bit off the ground and her knees under her without dropping her arms a couple times now. She spends a good portion of her day working on moving around. She's also getting better at the "M" sounds and has said "Ma ma" in imitation a few times now. I realize that it's just a sound and it has no meaning to her yet, but it still makes me very happy to hear the sound Mama coming from my baby.

I leave you with this picture, and I want you to know that I put her on the little checkered blanket by the toy. Even without being able to crawl, she gets around when she wants to.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


I just have to brag on Leif for a moment. You see, Leif won an award at work. They only honored three people in the whole international company, and Leif was one of them. He won the Q4 Company Award for Innovation / Bootstrapping, including a plaque and a bonus. Here's the writeup they sent to all the employees:

Innovation/Bootstrapper—Leif Wickland, Product Development in Bozeman

Leif saw a need and used available hardware and personal initiative to find a solution. This solution has saved countless hours in development by allowing people to avoid updates at potentially toxic times and providing an up-to-date build for server side developers to use. Leif set up and installed a continuous building integrations server on his own computer using CruiseControl.NET. The server basically checks out and building the code continuously and provides tools and reports for showing the state of the most recent build and who checked in between builds.
I'm pretty proud of him. He does what he does because he wants things to be better, more efficient. He wasn't looking for recognition when he implemented this solution - he just knew there had to be a better way to do what they were doing. I love that about him and I just wanted to share.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Cutie Patootie

Here are some pictures of our cutie patootie with Leif to start off your week.

Yesterday I noticed that Eliana is learning how to blow raspberries. She can't make much of a sound yet, but she tries and she does get the tiniest little "bbbppppp" sound every so often. And today I noticed that she was making a different sort of sound than I'd heard her make before, so I watched to see what she was doing - she's figured out how to blow big spit bubbles. The kind you can only blow one at a time, that fill your whole mouth. What a silly girl. She's been doing it all morning.


I don't know how it happens, really. One minute I'm playing a nice, peaceful game of wii boxing with Leif, and the next I'm looking down at my bloodied thumb knuckles. I might have gotten a little into the game. I might have been a little over-exuberant in my game playing. Maybe. Apparently I gouged one thumb with the other while boxing. And you know what the worst part is? At the end of the game, my skill level is still ranked at ZERO while Leif's is 1127 - pro. That's sad. I gain nothing from my enthusiasm for the game except this little nick on my thumb. Sigh. I though I was safe by staying away from an REAL athletic endeavors, but it seems that the virtual sports are just as dangerous.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Need an Ellie fix?

I thought so. Here's our girl all dressed up for church this morning...

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Back Home

Well, we ended up staying in Sandpoint for an extra day due to icy roads through the Montana/Idaho border passes. But that allowed me to spend some extra time with Kara, so it was good. We made good time and made it home safely on Wednesday, and Ellie traveled well. No fussing or anything. That was a blessing! Soon after we arrived home, I got a call asking if I could substitute for Elementary Latin at Petra the next day. So Thursday was hectic and I'm very glad I'm not trying to teach AND be a mom. I don't think I could do it. Friday was full of trying to get settled back into routine at home and doing laundry, and now today I'm finally getting around to blogging. Whew!

Ellie has been doing this funny thing where she scrunches up her face and sort of snorts. I've been trying (unsuccessfully) to get a picture or video of it. It's cute. She's also been trying (unsuccessfully) to crawl. She pushes up on her arms, then flails her arms and legs, then pushes her bottom into the air, then repeats the cycle. She can sort of creep forward VERY slowly this way, but she hasn't figured out how to get her arms and legs under her at the same time. She's pretty persistent, though, so I imagine it's just a matter of time before she gets it.

That's about all that's happening here, so I leave you with some pictures from our trip...

JD with Kylen and Evie

Ellie, Evie, and Kylen
(looking at Kara as she jumped on the couch to get their attention)

Kylen pushing Ellie in the walker while Evie toddled behind.
Ellie LOVED it. She grinned and giggled, and her little feet went 100 miles per hour beneath the walker - it reminded me of the Flintstones!

LU girls shopping in downtown Sandpoint
Katie, Elizabeth, Ginny, Kara, Stacy

The Claridge and Wickland kids - three carseats across the back of the Prius!