Sunday, April 27, 2014

ellie: five months


happy five months, elle!  we're inching closer and closer to having in your our lives for half a year.  wow.  

...  you are, for the most part, a really happy baby.  you smile all. the. time.  and you absolutely light up whenever anyone makes eye contact with you and talks to you.  this month you've even started doing this when we talk to people on FaceTime.  
...   you are still eating all the time, but you're starting to space your feedings out a bit.  you still like to eat pretty often in the evenings but i've noticed that it's twice or so in the last two hours before you go to bed instead of the every 45 minutes that you were doing. 
...  you nap anywhere from two to four times a day.  with three to four being most typical.  you take a morning nap around 8:30, another around 11:00, and a long afternoon nap around 1 when avery naps, and you'll sometimes even take a evening nap, too.  the morning nap happens in the rock 'n play and the long afternoon nap happens in our bed.  the other two naps typically happen in the ergo.
...  you like to be outside when the weather's nice and you happily ride around in the ergo whenever we're running errands. 
...  you absolutely hate the stroller.  i really hope you get over this because i would like to start walking more and the stroller is just a better place for you to be when we do this. 
...  you LOVE your big sister.  whenever you hear her voice you look all around to see where she is.  sometimes this can make feedings or putting you down for a nap difficult.  but you absolutely light up whenever she pays attention to you and no one can make you laugh quite like she does.  i'm really looking forward to watching your relationship with her grow. 
...  the cradle cap is completely gone from your eyes thanks to some jason's dandruff shampoo.  i'm so glad because not only did it look awful but it also seemed like it was really painful for you. 
...  you love your bath time.  i'll be honest, your sister definitely got more regular baths than you do, but you get a kick out of splashing around the whole time. 
...  your hair is finally growing.  looks like you won't be a bald baby forever. 
...  you can roll over from both back to front and front to back and you do both pretty often.  no more leaving you on the couch or on the changing table for even a second.  
...  you've found your feet this month.  you love to grab them and shove them in your mouth whenever you can.  
...  you grab anything and everything and immediately put it in your mouth.  we've entered the stage where toys can actually entertain you and so now we have 'baby toys' all over the house along with avery's toys.  
...  you are still teething like crazy.  you chew on anything and you bite really hard when you do!  you're also still drooling like crazy which is still new for your dad and i since avery never did this.  if you're not wearing a bib you'll soak through your shirt in a few minutes.  
...  you've started to notice the dogs.  henry is a favorite and he always gets big smiles from you.  i forgot how good he is with babies.  he loves to sniff you and lick your feet.
...  you still don't love the car but are getting a little better about this.  as long as you are well fed and not terribly tired you usually do okay.

love you, ellie belly.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014












easter was pretty low-key this year, although it is most years.  ironically this was the first year we didn't go to church since having avery and my mom was out here celebrating with us.  she had to fly out that afternoon so we decided to do brunch in the morning before she left.  when avery woke up she was pretty pumped that it was easter even though i'm not quite sure she really knew what to expect.  this was our second year dying easter eggs with her, which we did the day before.  she was really into the dying part and kept demanding to see the eggs throughout the day.  charlie hid the dyed eggs in the morning and she 'hunted' for them after she opened her (and ellie's) easter baskets.  one of the things that i got her in her basket was a doctor's kit.  she's been really into playing doctor the past few months so i thought that she would really enjoy it and she definitely did.  pretty much everyone, dogs and cats included, have been a patient these past few days.  anyway once we pried her away from that she found the eggs around the house.  she actually did a pretty good job.  i was expecting us to have to really walk around with her and point out the eggs but she totally got it and was really proud of herself for finding those eggs.  after the egg hunting we made a frittata and i roped charlie into cooking some bacon and then we had some coffee cake after we ate in shifts while passing off ellie.  after breakfast i made everyone take pictures.  charlie was not terribly impressed with this idea, and then we took avery to the playground.  nothing too special but still nice and simple.  one of these days charlie and i are going to have to make up our minds about if we're 'doing' santa and the easter bunny.  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

catching up.









...  my mom was out here for a whole week and it was seriously wonderful.  charlie was actually gone for most of it, but i couldn't feel too bad for him since he was spending his week playing in a Pro-Am.  it was really nice to have my mom around just to see her since i hadn't seen her since november when ellie was born and also to help with the first of many trips that charlie's on.  we didn't do anything special really, but we hung out, tried to get avery to the playground and it was so nice to have an extra set of hands in town that the kids loved too.  avery was really, really upset when she left.  this was the first time that she got upset even before we had to take someone to the airport and when they really had to say goodbye she cried a lot.  it was a sad drive home from the airport.  ellie loved my mom.  who wouldn't?  and it was really nice to have someone else help out with putting her down for naps, changing dirty diapers, folding laundry, and cooking.  seriously, she is the best to have around.  and i miss her so much already (and not just because of the free help).

ice and many books were required that day.

...  the only minor tragedy that occurred while she was out was that avery hurt her wrist one day.  we were swinging her and it must have pulled something in it, but man she was a mess.  we were in the parking lot of kohl's and she was crying for a long time before i could even get her in her carseat to head home.  when we got home i finally figured out that it was her wrist that she hurt (we gave her some ice and she put it on it).  i gave her some ibuprofen and put her down for her nap, hoping that she would wake up feeling better but she didn't.  she woke up crying about it so i called the doctor.  in the time that it took them to call me back she started getting a little better.  she wouldn't use it but she was playing and acting okay.  so we decided to wait it out.  and luckily she woke up fine the next day.  such a minor little thing but always a reminder how thankful i am to have healthy kids.  i was ready for bedtime that day!


 ...  avery actually put on the tutu and ballet shoes that my sister gave her for christmas.  and then she made my mom dance to timber about a thousand times.  it had to be timber!  i actually signed her up for a dance class that starts this week so we'll see how that goes.  i actually can't believe that i have a kid that wears tutus OR that i actually, willingly signed her up for a dance class because that is so not my thing and if i'm being honest i would much rather her be into sports.  but it seems to be something she's interested in so we'll see what happens.



...  ellie continues to nap and i continue to take lots of pictures of her sleeping.  i probably take one a day.  there's just something to me about sleeping babies that i can't resist.  she's so different from avery and i'm so excited to watch her grow up and develop her own little personality.  she's rolling pretty consistently now from back to front and when my mom was out her she said she rolled from front to back.  and she wants to sit up so badly, but she's really not there yet.  she's also a big cuddler and prefers to fall asleep while snuggled very close next to me.  the few times that she'll wake up after i put her to sleep at night, this is how she likes to go back to sleep.  avery was always a nurse to sleep kid and while ellie will nurse to sleep it's definitely not something she needs to do.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

a little bit of this and a little bit of that.




...  we're in the middle of having some amazing weather right now. like high 60s and low 70s.  i know this won't stick around yet so we're trying to spend all of our time outside when we can.  yesterday we read books outside, threw the ball to dunkin a million times, and walked to the playground after ellie's nap.  i've forgotten how amazing warm sunshine feels.  avery loves being outside and is always begging to hang out in the back and insisting that all of the animals come with us.  i can't wait until the warm weather decides to stick around.


...  we've officially booked our trip back east this summer.  i really, really wanted to make it to the beach at least once while we were back there and i know my mom would have wanted to go and watch the kids.  unfortunately we're in dc during the fourth of july weekend and attempting a trip to the beach that weekend is just plain crazy.  once it took us 5 hours just to get across the stupid bay bridge.  not happening with two little kids.  so we extended our ny trip by a day and we'll take avery and ellie, for the first time!, to the beach up there.  i can't wait. 


...  ellie's is growing up so fast!   i know i always say this but she's grabbing toys, laughing at her sister, and sort of sitting at the dinner table with us.  whenever we all sit down for a meal together avery always says "we're eating dinner together", like it's really significant or something.  i got the jumperoo out of our basement storage the other day thinking that she was way to young for it but at least it would be clean and ready for her when she was.  i put her in just to see how she did and she loves it.  she's way too short for it (a problem that avery had, too) but a few books underneath solved the problem and she's had a good time in it.  she can roll over from back to tummy but i have never seen her actually do it.  she's done it a handful of times (maybe 5 or so) and i always seem to look away long enough to find her on her stomach.  


...  ellie's the smiliest baby ever.  not the happiest baby; she definitely has her moments.  but any time someone looks at her she breaks out in a huge smile.  it's so cute.  she even smiled for charlie when she saw him on FaceTime the other day.  


...  i painted our bathroom cabinets white.  the first home project that i've done since ellie was born. it was a huge pain in the butt and it's convinced me that there's no way that i'm doing our kitchen cabinets.  our kitchen currently has cream cabinets and eventually i'd like to paint them white, but it has more than 4 times the cabinets that our bathroom has and that took me forever.  we'll see if i eventually work up the motivation to live in a messy kitchen for a few weeks.  the next thing that i'm painting is the kids' bathroom cabinets.  they shouldn't be too bad and once they're done we'll be done with all of the 'honey oak' in our house. 


...  avery has been really, really sweet with her sister lately.  i feel like i've only talked about the bad or frustrating times but honestly, they didn't last too long and now she's a really good sister.  she's always bringing her toys, and trying to make her laugh, and helping her try and sit up.  the first thing that she wants to do every morning is jump in our bed and say hi to her.  she still calls her 'sister' a lot, which i think is pretty cute.  and ellie just loves the attention.  she can't get enough of her big sister right now.  i'm curious to see how their relationship develops as they get older.  i hope avery isn't as much of an asshole as i was to my sister when we were growing up.  


...  avery said her first curse word the other day.  charlie was running a few errands with her and he stopped at the store to pick up beer.  as they were driving back the beer fell over on the seat and avery goes, "shit, the beer".  honestly we've tried really hard to keep the 'bad' words at a minimum since avery hit about 6 months but obviously we haven't tried hard enough.  charlie did talk to her about how that wasn't a good word to say and i haven't heard it since, but i'm sure it'll pop up again.  at least it wasn't the f-word. 


...  avery really loves her new fish.  she'll pull her stool up to the counter to talk to him and always asks about him.  although the other morning she ran downstairs while charlie and i were still getting ready and we hear this banging.  i thought she was playing with one of her toys.  we have this one that has a hammer and balls and you're supposed to hammer the balls through these holes.  anyway, we go downstairs and find that, no, she was actually banging a rock on the side of the fish tank.  i'm pretty sure she stunned the fish because he was basically immobile in the bottom of the fish tank.  and there are now scratches all over the side of the tank.  we've started calling her darla. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

nothing special.







i finally got out our 'good' camera for some pictures.  nothing terribly special but i always wish i did this more often.  i'm madly in love with ellie's fat legs.  our days have been pretty repetitive lately but i wake up each morning so thankful that this is how i fill my days.  these kids are pretty awesome.  (also, charlie's been home for like a record three weeks so things have been so, so nice.)  avery woke up three times last night and it was so weird to actually have to do something with her in the middle of the night.  luckily, she goes back to sleep with a quick round or two of 'the wheels on the bus' and honestly charlie got her two out of the three times.  silly kid. nighttime is for sleeping.  also, our 10 day forecast has temperatures in the high 60s! i cannot wait for some warm weather.      

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

10 months!


pulling up on furniture
saying "cat" and "uh-oh" and "hi"
waving hi and bye-bye
you can point to my eyes, ears, and nose
plane ride
pumpkin patch
trip to maryland, the atlantic ocean
two top teeth

ollie of course
walks in the stroller
hanging out with your grandparents
dropping things and saying 'uh-oh'
reading books
playing with the dogs
meatballs, cheese, yogurt, and bananas

10 months you silly girl!  this month has been big for you as you've really figured out how to move.  the day of your 9 month 'birthday' you started crawling and you've only gotten better and faster in the past month.  when you first figured out how to move you were doing a weird 'crab crawl' as your dad called it.  now you're crawling 'normally' on all fours unless you want to get somewhere fast and then you revert back to your old ways.  you are getting really fast!  and you love to make a beeline for things that we don't want you to get into like the dogs' water and the dvds.  you've also started pulling yourself up on things and if you weren't so happy crawling i would think you wouldn't be too far from walking. however, i think you're still content to crawl anywhere you want to go.  as much as we've had a busy month with baby proofing and rearranging the office i'm so happy that you've figured all of this out because you are so much happier now that you can get where you want to go.  you were pretty frustrated for a few months there when you wanted to go and do things on your own but couldn't quite figure out how to do that.

i feel like your understanding of language has also exploded this month.  you're still saying cat and ollie is a favorite but you've also started saying 'uh-oh' and i think this might be your new favorite.  your dad taught you how to drop things and then say 'uh-oh' and you now do this on purpose.  food off of your highchair, books off of the couch, and my phone whenever you can get ahold of it.

you had your first trip to the pumpkin patch, first plane ride, trip to maryland, and first beach visit this month.  you're definitely a serious baby when you're in new situations.  i think you like to sit back and take it all in before deciding if you want to play or if someone new is okay to smile at.  i like that you're a little cautious and i hope you manage to keep this quality as you get older.  you loved the ocean and were quite happy to watch the waves but you also loved playing in the sand and even ate a few mouthfuls just to see what they tasted like.  you also had your first train ride at cabin john park and carousel ride at the carousel on the national mall in d.c..  i think you liked them both although you were still pretty serious about it all as usual.  you were great during our trip with meeting new people and staying new places, although i think we were all happy to return to our own beds and get some better sleep when the trip was over.

your dad says all the time that you're the cutest and you really do get more and more fun the older you get.  you had a rough time with sleeping this month when your top two teeth came in, one right after the other, but even on those nights when you didn't sleep much you were a pretty happy baby during the day.  i cannot believe that you're almost a year already!  i'm not ready for that quite yet and i still look back at pictures of you from a few months ago and wonder where my chubby baby went.  love you baby girl.

9 months.


walking while we hold your hands
napping on momma
walks in the stroller
hiking in the ergo
feeding yourself
reading books

clapping for yourself
going from laying down to sitting
grabbing my nose and ear and knowing the difference between the cats and the dogs
trying to say cat whenever you see them.  
hike to the top in your backpack
trip  to 12,000 feet and above treeline
happy hour in boulder
you can crawl/scoot yourself to things you want
figuring out how to activate siri on the iphone

9 months avery girl!  this was a big month for you as far as figuring things out in your world.  you seem so much more aware of what's going on and are really starting to recognize certain words and piece things together.  it has been so fun to teach you things this month.  you will grab my nose and ear if i ask you where they are, you know which animals are cats and which are dogs, and you know that 'yay' means clap your hands.  you love to clap for yourself when you do something you think is praise-worthy.  this month you learned how to go from laying down to sitting and each time you would do it i would say 'yay, good job' which inspired you to clap for yourself.  now any time you sit up you immediately start clapping for yourself and look at me like 'mom! hello!' if i don't join in.  you love, love, love ollie.  he is still a strong favorite and when i ask you where the cat is you'll look around for him.  once you spot him you start trying to say cat.  you've got the sounds down but haven't yet put them together.  i have a feeling it won't be long before you do and i'm guessing that cat will be your first word.  you know who the dogs are, too, but get less excited about them.  henry has been oh so patient with you and lets you climb all over him, grab his ears and tail, and even look inside his mouth.  he is one good dog.  dunkin is less excited about your antics and usually gets up pretty quickly if you try and play with him.  

you want to be on the move pretty badly and both walking and crawling.  

8 months.


(forgot to post a bunch of these.  be prepared for a few 'avery grows up' posts)

oh wow, i'm not sure if i'm ready for this one yet kid.  8 months seems awfully close to 1 year.  but you're so much fun to watch and play with that i'll try and forgive you for growing up so fast.

you haven't hit any huge milestones yet this month and yet somehow you seem much more older and aware of things.  you've been pretty frustrated this month and i think a lot of that comes from the fact that you can't get yourself from where you are to where you want to be.  walking and crawling are both on your mind but you can't seem to figure them out.  you have greatly increased your range of motion which means that we have to put things we don't want you to get much further away from you now.  you can spin 360 degrees around on your belly and if you're sitting you can lunge forward to grab things, your current favorites are the cat's tail and our phones.  you love to stand although you can't really get yourself there yet.  if we put you sitting up in your crib you can pull yourself to standing although this is the only place you've figured out how to do that.  mostly you use us to stand up and get you where you want to go, but i can tell you're over asking for help.  i have a feeling that once you figure things out everything will come at once for you.  this may be the last month i can say we have a non-mobile baby.  if not i have a feeling you'll be really frustrated by month 9.

as far as eating goes you've gotten much better about eating solids this month.  you typically will take a few bites of my yogurt in the morning, eat some fruit for lunch, and then some veggies for dinner.  you're pretty independent and like to feed yourself.  i keep seeing other babies who are so neat and clean when they're eating, but not you.  you have to grab the spoon yourself for every bite which involves food all over your hands and face.  you're still nursing as often as you were before, which means you're pretty much eating all day long.  it can be a challenge to squeeze in other things.   

you're a vocal little lady, always talking to yourself.  you're actually pretty hilarious and keep your dad and i entertained just by watching you.  you're still babbling dada a lot although you've added a lot of other sounds.  still no mama and you still love to scream.  you're pretty good at letting us know what you're not happy with something.  in fact despite the fact that you're pretty happy and easy there are quite a few things that you don't like.  you hate when we take things away from you, when i leave the room, when we change your diaper, take you out of the bathtub or try to dress you in clothes.  you also do not like to fall asleep on your own but i'm resisting the topic of sleep because i could write an entire novel on that alone.  i suppose it's good that you know what you like.  we definitely try hard not to give into your demands, like returning the iphone we just took away, and luckily you haven't yet figured out that things exist once you can't see them which means you get over things pretty quickly.

you still don't have any teeth yet.  people, including me, have been saying that you've been teething for 3 months.  usually that's in reference to how terrible your sleep is. although we've made progress towards the end of this month.  i just hope that we keep moving forward in that area.

you love being outside, hanging out with the dogs, seeing us for the first time in the morning, sharing food with me, going for walks in the stroller, and running errands with me.  we still use the ergo when we're out shopping but you run out of patience if we're not constantly moving.  one of the reasons that i say that you've grown up so much is that i think you just 'get' things more.  we read this book usually once a day called 'where is your nose' that has those peek-a-boo flaps in it.  you love opening the flaps and know exactly which way to pull each of them.  it's pretty cute to watch you figure everything out.  you also love turning the pages to board books, sometimes a little too quickly, but since we read these books so often i pretty much have them memorized so it hasn't been too much of a problem.  you love playing with your daddy and peek-a-boo is still a favorite.  saying 'avery, avery where are you?' can snap you out of a bad mood pretty quickly.  

you had your first serious tumble this month.  it was hard for your dad and i too, both seeing you hurt (i think i may have relieved that moment for days and i can still see it happening if i close my eyes), and trying to make the best decisions for you.  thankfully you weren't seriously hurt.  i'm glad i trusted my gut on that one and didn't subject you to any testing just for my own peace of mind.  you slept with us for a few nights after this, or rather you slept and i watched you all night long, which made getting you back in your crib a little difficult although it didn't matter at all at the time.  you were a trooper during the whole thing and it definitely was a reminder about how tough you are.  

you still love the animals and i think the dogs have gotten more popular this month.  your dad is still worried that you might be a cat person since you love petting ollie.  i think the fact that he's so patient and tolerant with you has helped with this, too.  we took a video of you playing with him this month and you're grabbing his tail and shaking it all around and he's laying on the bed purring.  he seems to like all the attention and still jumps up to sit in your lap even though you pull his ears.  you like to climb on the dogs a bit and henry is much more patient than dunkin.  dunkin still makes me nervous as i can see him getting annoyed with the attention but henry could care less.  you lean on his back and smack his belly (i really think he likes this) and are happily entertained by his tail for 10 minutes at a time.  i think he secretly loves the attention.

i think we may be at the beginning stages of separation anxiety as you're starting to show a preference for having me hold you and be in the room with you at all times.  i'm sure this is partly due to the fact that we're almost never apart.  luckily your dad is pretty good at distracting you from the fact that i'm gone and once you've forgotten about me you have so much fun playing with him.  although you tolerate it, you look at strangers pretty funny when they try and touch you.  i do too, though.

avery, i say this every month but you are just so much fun.  i feel so blessed to have you in our lives and i'm thankful each and every day that you're a happy healthy baby girl.  i can't wait to watch you continue to grow throughout the years.  thanks for being such a wonderful part of our family.
drinking from a straw
taking steps with mom and dad
turning the pages in your board books
mimicing us: clapping hands, making indian sounds, sticking your tongue out.
trip to the reservoir

ollie.  this is pretty standard.
walks in the stroller.
falling asleep while being held.
feeding yourself.
playing silly games with your dad.
peek a boo.
being with mom all the time.
sharing yogurt in the morning.
reading books.
watching other kids.
the where is your nose book

we hiked!



wow have times changed.  before we had kids our weekends were spent hiking (a lot).  we would wake up leisurely on a saturday, make some coffee, and then spend some time drinking our coffee and deciding where we were going to hike that day.  the dogs always came.  of course.  and after our hike we would come home, relax, shower, order a pizza or maybe even go out to eat!, and spend the evening drinking beer and watching a movie.  anyway, i miss hiking.  when i'm pregnant i always find it hard to do anything terribly physical.  i just get out of breath really easily, which makes anything semi difficult very hard for me.  both summers that i was pregnant were not great as far as hiking goes.  anything easy was no problem unless it was too hot, but anything exciting was really just not going to happen.  when avery was a baby we bought a backpack for her and were so excited to get back to hiking.  and then we discovered that she hated the backpack.  after passing many people on the trail with our screaming baby we learned that most kids don't really like the backpack until they're a bit older. she loves it now, but that first summer with avery was a bit disappointing because we had to sort of readjust our expectations about what a successful hike was.  successful is now nobody screaming their way up or down a mountain.  


this weekend was finally going to be sort of nice weather-wise so we decided to get out and attempt a hike with two kids.  i kept ellie in the ergo (lesson learned) and avery road in the backpack.  we brought dunkin with us.  he's finally, finally stopped limping and we figured this would be a short and easy hike and we'd see how he would do on it.  he actually did fine for the first half and then you could see him start to slow down a lot.  by the end it was pretty clear that he was hurting and he limped around a lot the rest of that day but seemed fine the next day.  basically, he's just old.  i think he's like 70 or more in human years, which means slow, easy, and short adventures are all he can really handle right now.  still it was nice to have him.  he's an awesome dog and avery was actually the one who insisted that we bring him.  she kept telling him to watch out for bikes and was very concerned when he ventured too far ahead.   



the hike was pretty quick, but had nice views of the flatirons, which are my favorite mountains to look at.  we let avery get out a bit and run around and she loved it.  she kept saying 'i'm hiking' and then climbed all over the rocks.  when we put her back in the backpack on the way back she could barely stay awake.  and the next day she kept asking to go hiking.  unfortunately i think we'll have to wait for the weekends because i'm not quite sure how i could do it with two kids.  hopefully spring will be hurry up and we'll have lots of warm weather to hike in.  and next time i think we'll leave the dunk at home and bring crazy henry.