Monday, April 30, 2007

How did she DO that??

I'm amazed. Somehow Eliana managed to silently break a terracotta pot and eat some of the dirt without my knowledge. I was sitting on the bed right next to her. She was happily playing and the plant was (I thought) out of her reach. A couple minutes later I looked over and this is what I saw:

Of course, like any good mother, I made sure she was okay and took pictures before cleaning up the scene. How does she do these things???

Little Cutie

Today Ellie played outside while I re-potted some houseplants. She played with her blocks and crawled in the grass. I got a lot of potting done.

This is Ellie with her push-walker. She's started pushing it backwards or "climbing" up the front when she gets it stuck on something. She is definitely a busy, busy girl.

And here Ellie's feeding herself pineapple. I have to admit that it's wonderful that Ellie can feed herself some things now. She is gaining more independence every day and it's beautiful to see her blossoming into a little person.

Another Peek into the Future...

Last night we had the Varpness family over and we spent a good portion of the evening outside enjoying the beautiful weather. Leif blew giant bubbles for Lily to chase and I could just see him doing the same thing in a couple years with Ellie. He's a good daddy.

It's been warm out lately, which has been wonderful. Beautiful sunshine just makes you want to spend time outside! In fact, today I'm planning on starting my container gardening. I'm planting tomatoes, peppers, and onions today, and we'll see if I do anything else later. It may still freeze, but if I plant in big pots on the deck, they get full sun during the day and I can bring them inside at night if it looks like it'll be too cold. I got Early Girl tomatoes, so we'll see if they do well with the short growing season. Last year I got lots of tomatoes, but there were still a TON of green ones when it got cold in the fall. So maybe I will have better luck with this variety.

I end this post with a photo of little Ellie, because I know that it's what the readers want! But I warn you... she has not been interested in having her picture taken lately. She's either too busy doing or watching something, or won't sit still and smile for me anymore. I'm sorry. I will try to do better. =) But we did get a new card reader yesterday, so I'm able to get pictures (and video again!!) off the camera more easily, so I'll see if I can get better ones today! Happy Monday!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Whistle While You Work

It's just the cutest thing when Ellie "whistles". She makes an 'o' and blows in and out very quickly.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

9 Month Checkup

Monday was Ellie's 9 month checkup. She's grown quite a bit and is ahead of schedule on her developmental milestones. Here are the stats:

Weight: 17 lbs 4.5 oz (25th percentile)
Height: 27.5 inches (48th percentile)
Head Circumference: 17.75 inches (80th percentile!)

Leif says she's got a big head because she's going to be a brainiac genius child.

Friday, April 20, 2007

10 things I love about you

Tooth #3...

... has made its debut. I only discovered it because Ellie has discovered how to grind her teeth. And sure enough, there it is, peeking out ever so slightly from her upper gum. Welcome, tooth #3!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

9 months old

It's hard to believe that Eliana is 9 months old today. She's come a long way! Just last night Leif and I were talking about how she used to fit on his forearm with her head in his hand. Not any more! She is busier than ever and a bundle of joy. At 9 months old she can:

  • Sit up on her own
  • Pull up to standing
  • Cruise on the furniture
  • Army crawl (or "power-flop" as Leif calls it)
  • Walk with her push-walker
  • Imitate sounds
  • Give kisses (they are the sweetest!)
  • Play ball
  • Play peek-a-boo
  • "sing" when she plays the piano
  • Feed herself rice puffs and cheerios (and tonight it was by the fist full!)
  • Growl
  • Obey when we tell her "no."

There are a few things she does occasionally, but only when she wants to, too:

  • Stand on her own for up to 3 seconds
  • Take one or two steps on her own
  • Go potty in the little potty
  • Crawl on her hands and knees

She is definitely learning something new each day. I end this celebratory post with a heart warming incident from this evening. Ellie, Leif, and I were playing in Ellie's room. She was hanging onto my shirt and I said, "Give Mommy a kiss." and she repeated the word "kiss." Then, she leaned over and gave me a nice wet kiss on the cheek, complete with the sound "mwa" and everything. Then she grinned, hugged me, and giggled. THOSE are the moments a mommy lives for. Happy 9 months, Ellie.

Pantry Fun

What is so enticing about the pantry? It seems to be Ellie's favorite place now. Yesterday I sat her in front of her basket of toys in her bedroom and ran take a quick shower. When I got out of the shower and went to check on her, guess where I found her? No... not in her room as I expected her to be, but in front of my bedroom door, playing with things in the pantry. Ack! How did she get out of her room, across the entryway, through the living room and to the pantry that quickly?! I guess I'm back to taking showers when she goes down for a nap.

Monday, April 16, 2007

First Steps

Eliana took her first independent steps tonight. She was standing up leaning against Leif when she leaned forward and took two and a half steps to me. It surprised both of us, especially since she can't stand for more than 3 seconds on her own. But she took those steps and was VERY proud of herself, shrieking and giggling in excitement. We were pretty excited, too, clapping and cheering her on.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

First Blood

Last week we were in Ellie's room. She was happily cruising along her toy box, "pat-pat-patting" it and so forth. She must've somehow slipped because, before I knew it, she was screaming like she'd been horribly hurt. I picked her up and looked her over, but couldn't find an injury. I was about to chalk all the screaming up to her being tired when the next scream shot a bunch of blood onto her cheek and chin. Then I realized that she'd banged her chin on the toy box, ramming her two lower teeth into her toothless upper gum. The wound didn't bleed long and she didn't scream long, considering, but I was somehow reassured to see my daughter bleed. Despite her daring and my fairly rough play, to that point I'd not seen her bleed. It was oddly comforting to discover that she truly was a real little girl that bled red, despite her robotic tenacity. It was surreal to see fresh blood on my child's face and to have neither Elizabeth or me become significantly excited or worried about it. Before we'd had a child, that's how we'd planned to react to such situations; then we did. The incident was also comforting because her first blood-flowing-from-the-mouth injury was really so minor. No more than two minutes afterward, she and I were "walking it off" out of her room, into the living room and she was happily babbling.

Walk with me, Daddy

Little Miss Busy

Ellie is still little miss busy. She's getting braver each day, trying to stand or walk on her own. Neither are working so well for her yet. But she is stretching herself and learning new things every day. It's good to see and fun to watch, but usually requires a little more attention and cleanup.

I found out that Ellie has learned to open ziplock bags. Unfortunately, I learned this after she got into the diaper bag and emptied a ziplock of graham crackers all over the living room floor and crawled over top of them. You can see her shaking the ziplock in the picture above. Thanks, Ellie.

Ellie was very proud of herself for getting over to the swing from her push-walker. She thought it was pretty funny to lean against the bar and push the swing with both hands.

We bought new bowls for Ellie and she loves to play with them. If you ask me, though, I think Leif has more fun with them. It is pretty funny when she holds them up and looks at things through them, though! Silly girl.

Yesterday we learned that Ellie can sit up on her knees and balance very well. She just sat like this playing with the toys in her bucket for a long time. Then she decided to pull herself up to standing. Thankfully, I had the camera in hand already, so I caught her pulling to standing for the first time ever.



... and away!

And right over to the bookcase. She will definitely be getting into more things now!

Problem Solving

Eliana has been side stepping along a couch more often recently. Some time last week, we watched her cruise from one of end the couch to the other to approach her musical table. Unfortunately, the table was further from the couch than she could reach and her emptied easter basket was between the two. Holding onto the couch with her left hand, she reached down to pick up the basket to move it. Her right arm wasn't strong enough, so she turned her back to the couch and reached down with both hands to lift the basket. Leaning against the couch, with the basket raised over her head and above the couch, she dropped it. Unfortunately, the basket rolled off the couch and back to its original obstructing position. It was time for a new tactic. Ellie put one hand on the offending basket's handle and, using it for balance, took step over to musical table. We were both very impressed. We were also chagrined that we'd not gotten the camera; we'd been pretty sure that she'd succeed, but hadn't wanted to miss the show.

First Hike and Other Firsts

Ellie went with me to the "M" on her first hike Saturday. She was awesome. When we arrived at the trail head, she was tired, hungry, and cranky. After I strapped her into the backpack, I leaned it up against the car while I got my things together. In her grumpiness, she threw herself forward, tipping the backpack over. I caught it just before her face hit the pavement. She was then unhappier, but after a bit of a bottle and a bit of hiking she brightened up. As we went, she became happier and started "giggling." As we'd pass people on the trail, I'd ask them to check on her, as I couldn't turn my head far enough to see her. She was happy as a could be, they said, although in need of a tissue. When we neared the homestretch to the "M", she fell quiet, so I figured the little girl, who'd awakened that morning poorly rested and with a runny nose, was napping. I hurried on to the top, were I took off the backpack and roused her by stuffing a bottle into her mouth. She let out a whimper and then proceeded to down most of the bottle. Because Ellie's extremities were showing evidence of the evening's cooling, I took the shortcut down. At the car, I noticed that I hadn't configured something with the backpack correctly; when I'd put her in the pack, her head was well above the top of the pack; at the end of the hike, she'd slipped so low, she was essentially enveloped by the pack. Whoops. Well, I'm pretty sure she was having a good time hiking because she didn't complain on the way down, even though she couldn't see out. After I finally extricated her, I praised her mightily for being a great little hiker.

We visited Stephanie and her new day-old daughter Kathleen in the hospital Friday. When we entered the room, Ellie proceeded to bust out her first wave for a non-family member. Since then she's been waving frequently, particularly at me when I'm in the kitchen with both hands busy. Poor unrequited wave.

Ellie's become much more dexterous with her tongue lately. This ability coincides with increased self-feeding of graham and animal crackers, which, due to her soaking, rather than chewing, approach to consumption, end up in a mush on her face. Amazingly, she manages to clean up these morsels. It's noteworthy that she similarly resolves her need for a tissue.

Ellie's been trying to take steps on her own more recently. When we hold out a toy in front of her, she'll try to take a step of her own volition without holding onto something. So far, she just tips over at that point. We also noticed that she was able to move from crawling to kneeling to standing while unloading toys her basket of tricks.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Easter Pictures

For Eliana's first Easter we went to church and then headed to Billings for lunch with Grammee and Grandad, Uncle Eric, Great-Grandpa and Gayle. We gave Ellie her Easter basket on Saturday, including little plush Peeps toys!

Ellie's Easter basket

Our little family

Walk with me, Daddy!

Hoppity Hop!

Sweet little Ellie

Sitting by the tree

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Monday, April 02, 2007

Little Cruiser

I'm officially calling Ellie a cruiser now. She's been able to cruise short distances for a few weeks, taking a couple steps one direction, and then back. But just now she started at one end of the couch and cruised all the way to the other end of the couch to get a toy. Then I put a toy on the chair adjacent to the couch. She looked at it, so I put out my hand and she took it, then walked over to the chair, stopping briefly to use her little eyes to plead with me ("I can't do it, Mommy. Just pick me up and put me over there, please."), but eventually she made it to the chair and voluntarily let go of my hand to take hold of the chair. Then she proceeded to cruise to the other side of the chair in order to get the toy. Yes, I'm officially calling Ellie a cruiser now.

I've also been meaning to blog about another milestone she reached recently. We were at a party on Saturday night and Ellie managed to find some cardboard to chew on amidst some toys. I took the cardboard away from her and for the first time ever, she yelled at me for taking a toy away. Then, about a half hour later, she was playing with a little toy and Zach came over, took the toy from her, then sat down to play with it. She looked at him, then rolled over, climbed on top of him, took it back, then rolled back onto the floor and continued to play with it. She showed him who was boss. I've been reading that she should start to object to toys being taken from her, and I guess she has.

Our silly girl is pushing the step stool around right now, using it to get to things in the kitchen she wants to play with. Like the straps on her booster seat. Funny girl. And speaking of her booster seat, this morning she learned how to pull the white upper tray off the lower tray. I think she learns sometime new every day. In fact, last night she apparently learned how to unravel the ribbon on her mobile, so we had to take that down today. Eight and a half months is a very exciting time in the life of a baby. And it is no less exciting for her parents.

Step-stool Fun

Ellie has discovered the step stool in our kitchen and thinks it's great fun. She crawls over to it and moves it back and forth on the floor, causing a little "screeetch, screeeetch" noise. If you stand her up by it on the carpet, she turns it into a drum, smacking her little palms against it while growling or squealing. And if you stand her up on it in the kitchen, she will push it across the floor, easy as can be. It's the best walking toy we've found yet. Here is a video and some pictures of her enjoying the step stool.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Swingin' in the Springtime

Today we went for a little walk and took Ellie to the park by the pond. It has a baby swing, so we decided to see how she liked it. She wasn't too sure at first what she thought of it, but after a while she was kicking her legs and enjoying herself.

We also took her down the slide for the first time, but she wasn't too sure she liked that very much.

I don't know what they're looking at, but whatever it is, they're thinking the same thing about it.

Ellie thought it was fun to grab at the branches through the fence. We thought she looked cute in her new outfit from Mommom.


It's in quotes because it's not really crawling. Ellie sort of drags herself around, grunting and growling at all the effort it takes. She manages to get around, though, and I guess that's what is important to her. She has a constant sense of mischief about her, as though a persistent thought lingers in her mind... "What can I get into now?"

She's a master mess maker

Just like her Mommy.

I hate April Fool's Day.

Let me just say that again. I HATE April Fool's Day. I hate listening to NPR's interesting stories only to realize that they are made up. Stupid radio people. And I hate reading articles in the newspaper about police dogs only to find that they are April Fool's jokes. Stupid newspaper editors. I hate April Fool's Day. If I liked it and thought it was funny, you would have seen a post here saying that we are expecting baby #2. But we're not, and I don't like April Fool's Day, so instead you get my ranting about the stupid people on my radio and in my newspaper that think this "holiday" deserves some sort of recognition. Okay... I'm done ranting.