Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Standing Akimbo

At some point recently Eliana learned how to stand akimbo. It's pretty funny when she does it!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Birthday Party!!

I can't believe Eliana's birthday party was 10 days ago and I haven't blogged it yet. My apologies to those of you who have been waiting for pictures!! I took advantage of the fact that Eliana's birthday is in hot July and planned an outdoor "splash" party. We put up a sun shelter to provide cover for the food and some shade and we let the kids have fun running around the yard! They played on the swingset (with new slide addition!) and in the pool, and in the sprinkler, and with bubbles. I decided that toddlers don't have the attention span for anything organized, and they appeared to have plenty of fun that way!

Here was the party setup... I decided cupcakes are MUCH easier to do than a cake, and you don't need utensils to eat them. We went with a beach theme (mostly because I found this cute beverage dispenser at Target for $6 and wanted to use it!) so the cupcakes were simple once I knew what I wanted to do!

This year Ellie got to blow out the candle on her own, which seemed to be exciting for her!

I also made some Martha Stewart ice cream balls on a stick. I probably won't do that again, given how difficult it ended up being, but the kids seemed to enjoy them. And given the blue frosting on the cupcakes and the sprinkles on the ice cream balls, can you guess what the party guests looked like for most of the time? Yes, much like this... (another good reason to hold the party outside!)

Ellie knew just what to do when it came time to open her gifts, though she wanted to play with the newly opened ones instead of opening the next. I suppose it's good that we didn't have 30 kids at the party or she never would have gotten through her gifts!!

One of the things she got from Grammee and Grandad was a $2 bill for her 2nd birthday. She pulled it out of the card and knew what it was immediately. "Money!" she said! It was pretty funny.

The party lasted pretty much exactly 2 hours, from 10-noon. It was a great party, judging from the kids' reactions. No real meltdowns (I'm guessing partly thanks to the party favors handed out just before the gift opening) and plenty for the kids to play with. Cleanup was a snap (no utensils or dishes to wash!!) and we enjoyed the rest of the weekend with Leif's family. So, late as this post is, I hope you enjoyed seeing a little of Eliana's celebration. She's finally two!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Well, there goes my chance to wear my teenage daughter's clothes!

Eliana had her 2 year well child appointment today and, as we suspected, she's doing great! =D I forgot to write down the exact measurements for weight and height, and the nurse never told me what they were for head circumference, so I'll have to call one day and find those out. But I DO remember where she falls on the charts, so I can give you that information...

weight: 75th percentile
height: 90th percentile

Okay... there goes my chance to wear my teenage daughter's clothes! I am about the same height as my mother, who is about the same height as her mother. And we are NOT in the 90th percentile for height! So... here's to the next few years she will still look up to me! Because by the time she's 8 she'll pass me by!

In other news, today was day 3 with no nap, and it's going well. There are still meltdowns. But she's going to bed and sleeping and that is good. Last night she slept from 7:15 to 8:30 this morning. And she now climbs into bed with me and snuggles a little more when she gets up. I haven't gotten that sort of treatment in ... about a year! So it looks like no naps are a good thing. To celebrate I took the crib down. It's out of her room. She's a big girl now. Just a toddler bed for her.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Result....

Well, for the past few weeks we have been fighting and fighting and fighting with Eliana over naps and bedtime. She used to be very predictable... down for a nap around noon, sleep until 4:00, down for bed at 8, sleep until 8. It was great!

A few weeks ago, though, she started fighting us on naps. She hasn't been ready for a nap until about 3:00 or later, and she sleeps for 2 hours. Then she's not ready for bed until much later than 8. There are tantrums, she got out of bed repeatedly, she climbed out of the crib when we put here in there to contain her... it was not good.

So yesterday I did something I have not been looking forward to. I cut out her nap. She's just barely two, but she cannot keep the schedule she was on, with a two hour late afternoon nap followed by sleeping from about 10:30 (or later!) to 8. She was waking up grumpy from naps and in the morning and it was just wearing her (and us!) down. It called for desperate measures, and so we cut out her one and only nap.

The result? She was pretty tired yesterday around 3:30 (as usual) but instead of putting her down to sleep I just let her watch a movie. She curled up on my bed with a blanket and her milk and watched the movie. Though she was pretty drowsy, she didn't fall asleep. She had a couple hours of down time, and then she was up and running again! Leif put her to bed around 7:45 or so and she didn't fight him. And she slept until after 8 this morning! I don't actually know what time she got up, because she woke me up! But Leif left a little before 8 and she wasn't awake yet, so he just left her door open so she could come find me when she did wake up. And she came in at 8:20.

So that's what we have. A 2 year old who didn't take a nap and for the first day in several weeks, it went smoothly. There may still be days where she'll need a nap, especially if we're out and about and she gets worn out in the morning. But if she isn't asleep before 2:00 I'm not going to let her sleep. That was a miserable pattern. We'll wean her off the movies some other time, but for now it's the only way I can find for her to sit still for down time. And she definitely needs that down time still! But today was good. She had a couple freak-out tantrums (mostly when she was tired right before down time and bed), but those are pretty standard these days. She's 2. So we'll see how today goes and take it one nap-less day at a time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

2 Year Pictures...

At exactly 4:37pm (the time of this post!) two years ago, our family was blessed with this precious little girl. We went out one evening earlier this week to take pictures of our girl now. My how she's grown!! Here's our little two year old...

Look Who's 2!!

Shocking, isn't it?? It's hard to believe that Eliana turns 2 today. It just doesn't seem like she's been a part of our family for two years now! But she has, and time has flown, and today we will be celebrating with a PARTY! Some friends, some family... it should be fun!

We celebrated her birthday a little earlier in the week while Mommom and Poppy were still here, too. We got an ice cream cake and she got to open her gifts from Mommom and Poppy. Though it wasn't her first birthday cake, her response to it was still precious. For one, she could actually blow out the candle this year. What a big girl!

Then she bit into the cake and realized it was not cake, but ice cream! She gave us a shocked look (see the photo above!) then a full body shudder and an exclamation of "Brrrr! Cold ice cream!" It was too funny. So funny, in fact, that little-miss-drama-queen repeated her performance and gave us another shudder and "Brrr!" Such a little ham! Despite the shock of ice cream instead of a cake, she didn't waste any time digging in and enjoying her birthday treat!

Happy Birthday, Eliana! We love you!!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Yesterday at the Park

Well, they're gone. Mommom and Poppy are on the long drive back to Texas and Eliana is watching Sesame Street. I don't think she understands that they won't be here tomorrow. We'll see. In any event, it was a sweet goodbye with hugs and kisses and Ellie waving as they pulled out of the drive and went down the street. It's always very sad for me when my parents leave, so I'm going to turn my thoughts to the good time we had this week!

Yesterday we packed a picnic lunch and headed to Livingston for the morning. We went to Sacajawea Park to play at the community playground. It's worth the drive. It's awesome. Ellie loves it, and I wish we had one in Belgrade, or even Bozeman. But we don't, so we headed to Livingston. Ellie had a lot of fun playing in the wee kids section, but during the lunch lull when all the big kids were off eating she stole away to the big kids area and even got Mommom and Poppy to go down the big slides with her.

We had a picnic lunch, played a little more, took a few more pictures, then headed back to the car for the ride back to Bozeman. If you're local to the area, Sacajawea Park is a great place to spend a morning, especially if you have toddlers. It's worth the drive over to Livingston, especially if you make a morning of it! Thanks for coming, Mommom and Poppy! We miss you already!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Picking Strawberries with Mommom

Well, Mommom and Poppy have been here for 10 days and will have to leave tomorrow morning. We have really enjoyed their stay! Eliana especially has enjoyed having her grandparents here and made quite a few new memories with them. Some we managed to catch on camera, including the following time spent picking strawberries from our garden with Mommom: