Monday, April 27, 2009

Ella's World

Ella’s world has been full of new adventures lately. She had her 9 month check up 2 weeks ago and she weighed 17 lbs. 13 oz and was 27.5 inches long. She had to have her finger pricked to check her iron, and she handled it better than I normally do. I hate, hate, hate having my finger pricked. I’d rather have blood drawn from my arms. Anyway, instead of turning her head and squinting while breaking out in a cold sweat in anticipation (which would have been my reaction), she watched intently as the nurse stuck her and then collected two little tubes of blood from her finger. Then she worked diligently until she removed the tiny band-aid from her finger. She had two shots, and I think if she’d only had one, she wouldn’t have cried at all. The crying was a fit of anger, which she made very clear each time the nurse came into her line of vision. Once the nurse left the room, the crying stopped and she was good to go.

She is standing up on everything now. She recently learned that she can pull herself up and hang onto my legs while I’m working around the house. One day while I was standing at the sink, she did just that – so sweetly snuggling her face into the backs of my thighs. Then she bit me. Hard. With her razor sharp puppy teeth. I screamed out in surprise – louder than I normally would – and scolded her. Her little face folded up and she started to cry. Of course I picked her up and cuddled her. She hasn’t done it again, but that’s mostly because now I know to expect it when she pulls up on the back of my legs and I head it off before it happens.

We’ve determined that she is a climber. She has mastered climbing on top of the overturned clothes basket, which she then uses as a step up to the couch or whatever piece of furniture it is next to. She has fallen backward off of it once when she sat too close to the edge, but since then she’s been very careful. Last night she started using that clothes basket to walk around the living room. She accidentally discovered that she can push it and walk behind it, so then she started doing it on purpose. It has also been a table/desk to hold her things while she is working very hard in her toy basket.

Dave bought her a pool over the weekend, so we spent quite a bit of time playing outside. She loved it. I stripped her naked and let her go all over the yard. She played in the pool, examined the bits of things she could find in the grass, helped me plant flowers, ate a mouthful of mud - basically she did whatever struck her as interesting at the time. I love to just set her loose and watch her explore. She gets so excited about every little thing. It’s refreshing. She was one nasty baby when we went inside for a nap, but that’s fine with me. A dirty baby is a sign of a productive day.

We took video of her playing in the pool, but I forgot to take pictures. Here’s a recent one from Easter anyway.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Feeling Wicked

For our fifth wedding anniversary, the love of my life bought me tickets to see Wicked. Holy crap! That was a good show. We went with the assumption that we would be sitting on the fourth row. Imagine my delight when we realized that DD was the first row!! I could see everything happening in the orchestra pit; had I wanted to, I could have ruffled the conductor’s hair. That’s how close we were. It was like having my own private show. I felt completely spoiled.

The show was amazing! I was a little scared that it had been too hyped up because everyone I’ve talked to raved about it, but I was not disappointed. Dave loved it, too, and was totally upset at intermission because he knew the witch was going to melt into a puddle at the end. Afterward he said, “I didn’t think a green girl could be hot…how’d they do that?” I’m feeling a little let down now because I want to see it again! Edward Cullen hasn’t even distracted me yet.

Enough about my make believe friends. There will be an update on Ella’s World as soon as I have time.

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Goose Hatching Time

As I left the office park on my way home from work yesterday, I was overjoyed to see that the goslings have started hatching! The hatching is an event I look forward to every year. It means that spring is really here, plus I just love to see the little fluff balls following behind their mothers, eating bugs and things. I’d like to steal just one and take it home with me, but my house is no place for anything that resembles prey.

I’ve stayed away from this blog for a while because I’ve been feeling more than a little snarky lately. Life is grinding sometimes and people really start getting on my nerves. There was a point this week when I’m pretty sure the world would have been better served if I had just locked myself in the house for a while. I’m happy to report that the baby goose sighting yesterday and the fact that today is Friday (Good Friday!) seems to have turned my attitude around a bit. Well, that and prayer. I know God put those fluffy babies in my path yesterday because I needed something to make me smile. I’m still in need of vacation. I keep thinking that this time last year I was counting down to my maternity leave. It’s a bit depressing that I won’t have a large chunk of time off this summer. Maybe we should move to Europe where everyone gets 6 weeks of vacation every year. Hmmm.

While Ella has been saying “Mamama” in her streams of babble, I finally had the moment when she saw me and called me Mamama. She always says it with three syllables, and it’s so cute. She has been chattering about everything, and the chatter is sounding more and more like words. I’ve heard her try to say “Georgia,” I think she said “dirt” the other day when she was playing in the flower pots, and the Grandmother Report tells me she tried to say “thank you” today. We have now resorted to spelling some of the key words we use around her (bath, eat, out, and puffs) because if she hears the word she expects whatever we are talking about.

I watched her think really hard about walking the other night. She was holding onto the ottoman and it would have taken 2 steps to get to the chair. She worked for a long time trying to reach the chair without letting go of the ottoman. I held my breath, waiting to see what she would do. She decided she’s not ready yet, and plopped onto the floor. She’s cruising more and more each day, getting much braver. Pulling up isn’t an issue anymore; she has definitely moved on to taking steps and trying to let go and balance herself.

Last weekend she had a play date with another baby her age. They played and played together for about 4 hours. I was thrilled; she even let my friend hold her while I ate. I couldn’t believe it. The child hasn’t let anyone outside of her immediate circle hold her in months. I think the funniest point of the day was when the babies hid behind the couch together to poop at the same time. Ella is funny about hiding to poop these days.

Sunday morning, she played in the nursery and sat next to Ms. Laurel and Mr. Johnny. I couldn’t leave the room, but she only checked in with me a couple of times. I think we are making progress with this separation/stranger anxiety. She’s having her 9 month portraits made tomorrow, and I’m really hoping she will be happy for the photographer. Surely there will be some new trouble to explore that will distract her from the stranger behind the camera.

To finish this off, here is a picture of her enjoying her first rib bone. She gnawed it clean.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Ella in Action

Grandpop sent evidence that this cheeky monkey is feeling much better. That’s the camera strap she is carrying around in her mouth (proof to my earlier point that she imitates the dogs).

The fourth tooth came in on Friday, and she has been testing them out on everything – including me. Until Saturday, she hadn’t bitten me since the day the first two teeth showed up. She bit Grandma yesterday. She is biting her clothes, particularly her socks, which she tries to remove with her teeth. She had shredded a blanket – with her teeth, while riding in the car where I couldn’t see what she was doing. The other night I gave her a piece of raw bell pepper, and she practiced biting bits off of it while I made supper.

Because it seems to be a common question, let me clarify that she does not bite my nipple while she’s nursing. She has bitten it before, when the first two teeth popped through, but she’s no fool. It didn’t take her long to connect that biting = no nursing. The mechanics of nursing aren’t really conducive to nipple biting anyway, so paying attention usually prevents it. Ella really only did it at the end of a nursing session if I tried to latch her back on when she was finished.
She attended her first kid birthday party Saturday and received a short lesson on sharing during what I like to call the Cheese Puff Conflict. She and the birthday girl, who was turning 1, were sitting in the floor eating cheese puffs. The birthday girl kept taking Ella’s out of her hand. The look on Ella’s face when this happened was priceless – a cross between confusion, hurt feelings, and anger. It happened about four times before Ella decided to take the cheese puff back. Birthday Girl had it clamped in a fist of steel, but that didn’t stop Ella from trying to pry her fingers off of it. It was cute, and I think she’s going to be a scrappy one when the need arises.

Last night I saw her take her first real steps while holding onto the furniture. Sometime over the weekend she learned that her finger fits up her nose, and she thinks it’s funny. Monday, she started trying to pick my nose, too. She is getting so much better about petting the animals with her soft touch. She loves, loves, loves Georgia – her eyes light up when you say her name, but Georgia is still keeping her distance. She has learned to sit and spin herself in a circle with her feet. This new trick resulted in a splinter in one heel and a wonky diaper situation. She spent Sunday afternoon with Dave while I helped with a bridal shower, and they had a blast together. He said he felt really proud and excited when she was reaching for him (like she does for me) while she was upset at one point. They played and played, and I think he really enjoyed the time with her. I need to make that happen more often.