Saturday, December 31, 2011

Belly Watched

It’s been a year of our little E’s adventures. We like to joke that the only thing that’s grown on her is her hair, but we know that’s not true. She’s a little taller, a little heavier, and a whole lot more talkative. It’s been amazing to watch the course of the year as she’s changed from a baby to a little girl. When I started this blog, she could say “momma” and “dada.” But now, she can tell you “happy New Year” and the names of dinosaurs, “brachiosaurus” is a favorite. 

She asks to start each morning with “Os and milk time” but she still wants to be carried down the stairs to get them. She insists of feeding herself most of her meals, and currently prefers to eat them on “momma’s lap lap lap.” She’s a dada’s girl at bedtime and nap time, he’s the only one who can put her to bed. 

E has hit a lot of milestones this year, some good, some bad. She:
1.       Got her first pair of hard bottomed shoes
2.       Had her first public tantrum
3.       Broken the 20 pound mark
4.       Gotten her first timeout
5.       Eaten wheat
6.       Tried juice (and learned that there is no juice at her house)
7.       Gotten skinned knees (and face) from playing outside
8.       Made friends
9.       Been weaned
10.   Spent the summer with dada
11.   Learned how to open presents
12.   Spent the night away from momma and dada
13.   Slept through the night (sometimes, since October)
14.   Become a good helper
15.   Got hooked on two TV shows, Sesame street and Dinosaur Train

I started this blog a year ago largely because I felt like as a working mom, I missed so much and my time with E was so short that I needed to capture what we were doing. It gets hard to remember what’s happened, things move so quickly and she changes so rapidly. When you have a kid, people tell you the time flies and you don’t really believe them. But they are so right. Some of this blog was also born out of stress , when I was pumping at work and watching my milk supply decline, I started looking for supply increasing tips online, that’s where I came across the idea for a daily picture diary. I’m glad that my stress and worry turned me here. As a parent, most stress and worry doesn’t turn into something so productive, and with such a visible result. 

E has been the bright spot in what has been a difficult year for our family. The changes in Wisconsin have had a huge impact on us, and we struggle to comprehend what exactly they mean for us, and what they will mean for our future. Things feel a whole lot less secure then they did for us a year ago, and we’ve started to rethink the way we thought our life would turn out. We’ve made hard decisions about what we can cut, if and how we can put E in daycare, and even when we might be able to have another child.  We dream of moving to a house, with a yard for E, but that dream moved further away from us this year. Here’s hoping for next year. For E’s dada and I, If there was ever a year to chronicle, this was probably it. I’m sure that certain memories and events have gotten lost from our minds as we worried about other things. If E ended the year smarter, more active, and soaking in everything, I think dada and I ended the year more cynical, stressed, and with low workplace morale. We’ve done our best to leave such things are work, so that we are ready to play when we walk through the door.

But, back to E, she just shines for us. We are reminded daily how lucky we are to have her, and how special she is. We hope she doesn’t mind being smothered with kisses, and having her belly rubbed. She’s grown from our Belly-boo to our Bean, or Beanie Girl, and has even called herself Bean on occasion. She remains our Adventure Girl, as she proved today by jumping off a recliner. As much as I’d love her to stay this age forever, I’m excited to see what the next year brings for her and what she learns.  

New Years Eve

December 31- It was a busy end of the year for us. The day started with dada making waffles, E feeling unhappy they weren't "pan cookies" but once she tried them, she liked them. E and I tried to go outside and play in the snow, and E threw a fit, I was worried the crying would wake up the neighborhood. She didn't like her boots, so we'll try again tomorrow. She and dada then went over to Grandma and Grandpa's house for some visiting and playtime. We then headed over to Ama and Grandpa Ada's house for a Christmas celebration with Ama's family. E was very interested in what the big boys (my teenage cousins) were doing, and even followed them (with Grandpa Ada) to the park to play baseball.

At home we had and early New Years celebration. E tried, and didn't like, sparkling juice so she got a chocolate cookie to celebrate with. After a little Elmo and Dinosaur Train, and bathtime, she was down for the last time in 2011!

Friday, December 30, 2011

December 30- Tonight we had a great time around the house. E came home from day care in a great mood. I think she misses day care when she's not there, and she misses interacting with other kids and doing art projects and things. When she got home today, she was in a goofy mood and spent some time being chased around the house. Then, she chose her own outfit, as you can see, it was her football shirt and a turtle neck, which she wore as a skirt. It didn't last too long, because dada had a pomegranate for E to try out. She helped pick the fruit out and rinse it off. She loved eating handfuls of the seeds out of the colander. But, when we put some on her dinner plate, she wouldn't touch it. At bath time tonight she surprised me by saying "happy new year" we also said "happy birthday" to several of the neighbors, I can't wait to see what she thinks when its her birthday, and everyone sings for her.

December 29- The baby remains one of E's favorite Christmas gifts, today she was trying to push in the stroller with both the diaper bag and her purse. The purse was too heavy to keep on her shoulders, and kept slipping down. It reminded me of myself at times when I've been out with E and trying to carry too much. She did finally solve the problem by setting her purse on top of the stroller. Tonight was the second night of a new bedtime routine, it seems to be working so far, she's gone to sleep without fussing.

December 28- We took E to the Chazen Museum of Art today, the Chazen was clearly not as fun as the Children's Museum, E really liked the entry way and the stairs, but the art wasn't really her thing. She was good at pointing out the pictures of naked people, and was pretty loud about it. Other people at the museum though it was pretty funny. She didn't really like that she had to be carried, so that she didn't touch anything. E's final straw at the Museum was when she was leaving, she slid around her dada and I and headed toward what she thought was a door, instead, she walked straight into a window. It made her really mad, although her parents thought it was funny. To make up for it, she got a big cookie for the car ride home. Overall, she must have had a good time at the museum, she talked about it for the rest of the day.

Aside from the Museum in the afternoon, E got to go to her friend L's house today. She talks about L all the time, and now she's saying "L come house" so we'll have to host the next playdate. L had his own toy doctor bag, and E liked giving stuffed animals medicine. She also liked playing with L's dried beans, which she could scoop and pour.

Tonight, she and dada started reading a new book, Olivia its about a little girl who likes to keep busy, dada says it reminds him of E a little. But, in the book, Olivia goes to a museum, and E loved reading about a place like the one she had been to.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Family time

We've always used the week between Christmas and New Years as family time. The tradition started before E was born, and with daycare closures, there is no reason for it not to continue.

 December 27- We finally made it to the Children's Museum today, E loved every minute of it. Whenever we try to do things like this we run into trouble with E's 11:30 nap, its hard to get anywhere before nap, and she often sleeps until 3 making it hard to get anywhere after nap. So, we headed out this morning, and knew we'd have a tired little girl on our hands when we left. E's favorite part was the little kids room, she loved the water area and running on the dinosaur walkway. She also liked the building areas, but they were a little too old for her. We didn't even make it to the rooftop, log cabin, and the shadow room, so there will be lots to do next time. We had lunch out at the Museum, since E threw a tantrum when we tried to leave without lunch (it was past her lunch time, so she was tired and hungry).  After nap, we played around the house with new Christmas toys, she's having a blast with play-doh, and went out to dinner. E has been asking to go to a restaurant for a while now, she did pretty well eating out, but I'm not sure she actually liked eating out.

December 26- Here is E and her new baby. E is moving fast, which is why the baby is all blurry. She loves, loves, loves pushing the baby around the house, and taking care of it. I'm always a little leery of such gender specific toys, but I know I have to give in sometimes, and this was clearly the right time. We said goodbye to Teddy this morning, since he's heading home early. We tried to go to the park in the afternoon, since the weather has been so nice, but it was windy and she only lasted for two trips down the slide.

Bedtime is back to being a nightmare, although she's tired when we put her down, she just can't settle. She cries and cries and asks for "rock a babies" and "momma bed" and "head on chest" and "lay down." I'm the pushover, who gives into her requests, but even that doesn't work, she just asks for more!


December 25- We had a nice Christmas morning at home, E had a good time opening presents, and trying them out. She loves her trike, and can even get on it with very little assistance. She has the idea of peddling, but we don't really want to encourage bike riding in the house, and she needs a helmet before she really gets going. We spent some time with Ama and Grandpa Ada and Ted and Nate. E has  a pretty hard time telling those two apart, but they are pretty understanding about it. E really got the hang of opening presents this year and she was good at it! Her favorite gift has been a baby from Ama and Ada, it came with a bed, stroller, and a diaper bag, so its got lots of possibilities. We had to add our own blankets. She's also really enjoyed her shopping cart, she likes to load it with snacks, water cups, and the dinosaurs from her Dinosaur Train set and push them around.

I had picked out a really pretty dress for E to wear, the kind that you picture little girls in for Christmas, and of course when it was time to get dressed, E started saying "I don't like it, I don't like it" and crying. So, no pretty dress for momma.

December 24- I had to include two pictures, above it E with the tree they made at daycare on Wednesday. All the kids were so excited about the trees that the minute I walked in every kid was pointing out the trees and talking about them. She got to bring hers home on Friday and was so happy. She got to eat some on Christmas Eve, and she picked off an m and m right away, but it was to hard and she didn't like it. Now, she picks off the candy and feeds it to dada or I.

We spent some time at Grandma and Grandpa's house, E has been asking for "Grandpa Norderhaug" a lot lately, so she was extra excited to see him. She loved checking out the house and making her usual circuit. She loves this Ned from Dinosaur Train figure, and had had a very good time playing with him. She also liked having dessert, she got to have two cookies, which is sort of a record for her. She also got to have juice, so it was a big day.

We also visited with Great Gramma, E liked prime rib quite a lot, and really impressed everyone with her ability to play while the adults finished dinner. E particularly loved her cousin Setona. I guess she is getting to the age where she really likes to watch and imitate big kids, she was really impressed with everything Setona did and wanted to be part of it.

December 23- We had a girls evening tonight for a little bit. We stopped at the library on our way home from daycare and got a few new books to read. E really liked the puzzles and the puppet theater. We also had our first potty training at a public place adventure. It wasn't as bad as it could have been, but of course she didn't actually have to go! When we got home, A and her mom came over for a little visit to drop off E's Christmas gift, she got a tutu, which she hasn't wanted to wear yet, I guess since she's not really into dresses, it makes sense she's refuse. Then, E and I went over to Ama and Grandpa Ada's house to visit with Teddy and Nate. It was the first time that E has seen the two of them in the same room since she was pretty little, so it was funny watching her try and figure out who was who.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

December 22- E's night time routine has taken on several new steps, here she is saying nite nite to a votive candle holder, on the way up the stairs she also says nite nite to the coats and the wall. She had to come downstairs because she forgot to say good night to the snowman, and because she didn't have the Christmas tree touch her head and say good night to the legos. Its a long routine, and easy to forget parts!

This morning, E, Ama, Ada and I went out for breakfast at Mickey's Dairy Bar, E wasn't a very good eater, but liked seeing the football stadium across the street. Then E, Ama, and Ada went home. They played at Hoyt where E really liked the car, and played in the snow and E built her first snowman. E also learned Ring Around the Rosie today, as soon as I walked into Ama and Ada's house she grabbed my hand and Ama's hand and we went around.

December 21- I put this little toy together for E after some advice from some other moms, she doesn't like it as much as other kids, she mostly likes to shake out the pipe cleaners and then leave them on the floor. E wore a Christmas outfit today, but she fought me while getting dressed, it worked out well though because daycare took her picture in a Santa hat! At daycare the kids frosted sugar ice cream cones with green frosting and decorated them so they looked like Christmas trees. The second I walked in the door E dragged me over to see it.

December 20- Here is E kissing the Christmas tree nite nite, her lips don't actually touch the tree, she just puckers up and leans in. Today she came home from daycare talking about "Mr. Bucky Badger." I'm not sure where the Mr. came from, but its pretty funny. The whole night was Mr. Bucky Badger. Tonight we got to have dinner with Aunt Norma, and E was a very good girl eating in a restaurant, she colored lots of pictures, and showed off her clothes baby.

Tonight was also the first night that E's head touched the Christmas tree when she was kissing it. She looked about ready to cry, so we told her how funny it was that the Christmas tree touched her. She started calling the tree funny, so it worked!

December 19- Today E stayed home from daycare with dada. She was completely over her sickness, so they had a fun day doing a little Christmas shopping and playing with the legos at Barnes and Noble. E and dada are a good team when you need to get something done. The same cannot be said for E and momma, we tend to spent our time playing, and E knows momma is the push over, so we just don't seem to get as much done.

Here, E is trying to put the stickers back onto the big sheet.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A few funny things

A few funny things that E has been doing lately

1. Calling her tooth brush her "bish tush", she used to call it the right thing, but somehow, she's changed it.
2.  Taking all her cups out of her drawer and lining them up on the kitchen floor
3.   Insisting on sleeping with 3 blankets, but not being covered by any of them
4.  Any time she hears the word "go" she say, "E go too?" or "E shopping?"
5.  Every night after her bath and jammies we have to bring her downstairs to say nite nite to the Christmas tree and the snowman decoration
6.  Telling everyone "Christmas tree fall down" even though it happened once, weeks ago
7.  Talking about Baby S constantly, and how he came to her house, even though he came the first week of November
December 18- E was under the weather for most of the day today. She started the day off with bang, she ate 7 (small) bowls of Os and milk and a few hours later she wanted ravioli, which is huge for a kiddo who doesn't eat much. I figured she was just hungry after not having dinner last night, so I let her eat. After about half the ravioli, everything came back up. She spent the rest of the morning and afternoon being pretty snugly. But, by the end of the day, she was back to normal. Here, I'm being the "time tunnel" so that she and the broom can go through. I also spent a great deal of time chasing her, which seems to be one of her new favorites. She'll be home from day care with dada tomorrow, but hopefully she's really on the mend.

  December 17- E was pretty cuddly when she woke up today, but after a little while seemed to be back to her old self. I tried to convince her to go outside and play in the snow, but she wasn't having that. She did enjoy watching people shovel. We helped R celebrate her birthday, and E enjoyed the party. It had cake, chips, and juice, which to E pretty much means party. She even got to have all the apple juice she wanted, which never happens. She had a good time at the party, but wasn't too interested in the cake, she mostly wanted to play with R's kitchen.

After the party, the dads and the little girls settled in for dinner and watching Star Wars. E impressed all the dad's by being able to identify Han Solo, Obi Wan Kenobi, and Luke Skywalker, and knowing that Han shot first in the Cantina.

December 16- Our party weekend continued with E and I going to our friend David's going away party. E joined me (in a new party dress from Titi Willy) and was a hit at the party. She really, really, didn't want to wear the party dress, and the tantrum over it continued on the car ride to the party. We actually had to pull over and let E get out of the car to calm down. But, I told her the party would have pizza, and she got over it. After playing, coloring, and running around a little. E and Grandpa Ada went to Ama and Ada's house for bath time and jammy time. I picked her up after a bit, and we went home.

E didn't really like doing the bed time routine without dada, but we did our best. However, after E was in bed about five minutes, she fussed a little and started saying "uh oh, uh oh." When I went up to check on her, it turned out she was sick. She wasn't too bothered about it, and once dada got home, she was happy to go to bed.

December 15- E had a very busy day today. She spent the day with Ama and Ada. I was off work, and was able to join them at Hoyt. It was my first time at Hoyt and I loved seeing her play with all the different toys, she spent the morning playing with a pot, in which she had a few plastic vegetables and an oven mitt. She ran around with the mitt on, and even pushed the shopping cart around with it on.

Then, we went to E's day care Christmas party. She loved showing off for dada, Ama, and I. The kids had lots of snacks and then gave their parents ornament with their pictures on them. Then, the teachers started the music and the kids took off dancing and running. E's not much of a dancer, but she likes to run.

E's big day continued by Christmas shopping with her dada and doing a little mall walking with both her parents.

December 14- Look at that long hair, today was just a normal one at home, we spent our time clowning around and watching Dinosaur Train.

December 13- One of E's favorite toys lately has been her toy kitchen. She loves cooking and bringing food for dada and I to eat. She usually makes soup in the small blue pot, and is very good at stirring it. Her other favorite thing to do it to bring us "hot coffee" which in E's kitchen comes right out of the sink faucet.

Monday, December 12, 2011

December 12- Ama was nice enough to find these window clings for E today. E enjoyed sticking them on the window, but her favorite part was pulling them off. She was a little moody today, which caused some tantrums over little things, particularly when she didn't get her way about having a snack. Ama and Ada came over for a little bit, and E had a nice time playing with Ama. She gave very nice kisses and hugs good bye, but then, we had to run out to the car for one last good bye to Ada.

December 11- We took E to Hilldale to see Santa. She wasn't scared of him, but she spent the visit just staring into space like she didn't know what was going on. After the visit, Santa gave E a coloring book, which she absolutely loves. She has been talking about her "Santa book" ever since. After our visit, we had a surprise lunch out and then home for a nap. The rest of the day was spent at home, playing with her toys, her favorite right now is her kitchen, she loves bringing momma and dada "hot coffee."
December 10- This is the second year that E has helped with our Christmas tradition of making krumkake and lefse. E joined Teddy, Ama, Ada, and I at Great Grandma's house. She was excited to see Great Grandma and really enjoyed playing with Great Grandma's toys. After some time playing, E saw Great Grandma's mop, and spent the rest of her time "cleaning" the kitchen. E had a little taste of lefse, but wasn't impressed. She still likes the "chips" though.

December 9- Today we got home late, Teddy was home for a visit, so we had dinner at Ama and Ada's house. Teddy, Ama, and Ada picked E up at day care and went along with her class on their walk. She loved showing off for them. Its fun to watch Ted and E now, she remembers him between visits, although she sometimes calls him Natie. She's comfortable around him, and is always happy to see him.

December 8- Today we were lucky enough to decorate Christmas cookies with A and R. The cookies were then gifts for the condo board. This was the second time that E has decorated cookies, and she loved the sugar sprinkle. Aside from the sugar sprinkles, she liked mixing all the toppings together. I was impressed that she didn't eat cookies while we were decorating, A's mom make chocolate cookies, which is what E always asks for, but she was so focused on her mixing, that she didn't even taste a cookie.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

December 7-  Today was the Christmas program at day care. E's class preformed two songs, Feliz Navdad and If Your Happy and You Know It. Then, all the kids under 3 preformed Jingle Bells. E wasn't too interested in doing the motions, or shaking her maraca. But, she stayed on stage the whole time.  After the program, I walked her back to class and got to visit a little bit. She had a hard time with her momma leaving, and was a little fussy the rest of the day. Day care reported that she's starting to get upset when she doesn't get what she wants. We've certainly noticed that at home too!

Tonight, E spent most of the evening playing with water at the sink. She's got two measuring cups she fills, and then occasionally takes a drink. We also had to have a dinosaur at the dinner table, she shared her milk with it very nicely, although having a toy at the table didn't help her eat any better.

December 6- E has become quite the dinosaur girl lately. She's thrilled that her dada got out his old dinosaurs for her to play with. Her favorite,  is getting the dinos out of their plastic tub, and carrying them around. E has had a difficult time going to bed lately. She manages to stay quietly in her bed for a little bit, but, then gets very upset about being in her crib. Last night, she insisted on being in "momma bed" which was just an excuse to play, and the she wanted "rock a baby" for a while. She finally went to bed after getting a bigger blanket.

The big excitement of the night was getting markers. E loves to color, and had really been wanting markers. She had a great time with them, although she can't get the lids off by herself.

December 5- Last year, we put our Christmas tree in a playpen to keep E away from it. This year, its in her reach. She's done really well with it. This angel ornament she's touching with her right hand is one of her favorites. She loves to crinkle its skirt. This morning, when we got downstairs, we discovered that the tree had tipped over, for the rest of the day E kept saying "Christmas tree fall down."

December 4- This morning we had breakfast with Ama and Grandpa Ada at Copper Top, we had a great table, close to a window so we could distract E. We also brought clothes baby, which is our secret weapon when eating out. After breakfast, we picked out our Christmas tree. While we did a little Christmas shopping, E went mall walking with Ama and Grandpa Ada. Unfortunately, the mall just got rid of the small coin operated car that E liked to ride on, but she was ok without it.

We decorated the tree this afternoon and then played with R. E was so cute when she was decorating the tree. The first thee ornaments I handed her, she placed carefully on the tree skirt. After a few more tries, she got the idea of decorating the tree itself.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Wonderful day

December 3- This morning, we got to sleep in since we were all worn out from the party. E got herself up cheerfully, and we could hear her talking and playing in her crib for a little bit. She helped make pancakes for breakfast, she is a very good stirrer. But, despite helping, she didn't want to eat any pancakes.

We had a little trouble after breakfast. E wanted to use a wet rag to help clean. She also wanted to be the one who used the sink to wet the rag. We ended up having to put her in the tub where she was happy to clean the tub, and scrub momma's arm.

This afternoon, E and dada went to a Discover the Dinosaurs program. They had a great afternoon looking at huge replicas, digging for "fossils," and riding dinos. They stayed at the even for two and a half hours. I was amazed. E's favorite part was stomping around and moving like a dinosaur and roaring.

At home, she and I were playing, when out of nowhere she said to me "E, wonderful day." I was ready to cry right on the spot. We played some more, and she repeated it. After dinner, she told her dada the same thing, and again in the tub. This is the first time E's ever been able to articulate her approval, or disapproval of her situation clearly. When she's happy or unhappy in the moment, we know it. But she's never summed up a day like that for us.

E party!

December 2- After celebrating Thanksgiving twice, having a Thanksgiving brunch, and having Teddy home, and a few birthdays at day care, E got the idea of parties. Whenever we asked her what she wanted to do she'd say "E party." So, we decided to throw a party. We had the neighbor girls and their parents over and partied. The girls had noodles, and the parents had a great pot luck. Then the girls ran around and played with all E's toys. One of my favorite things about having them all in a setting is that once one does something the other have to do it too. So, once one went potty, they all had to go potty, once one had some water, the all needed water.

It was a successful party, earlier in the week E told us that a party involved noodles and cookies, so we managed to provide that.

December 1- Since I'm usually the photographer, I rarely get to be the one in the pictures. But, once I got E to snuggle with me, I insisted on being in the photo. E's a little distracted here, shes' watching Dinosaur Train, but a snuggle is a snuggle. Today was another busy one for her. She spent the morning with Ama, Grandpa Ada, and Nate. They went to Mickey's, which is E's new favorite breakfast spot, and to Hoyt to play. E made a friend she called "buddy" and she had a great time building with blocks. Her tower got knocked down twice which bothered her quite a bit. But she recovered, and kept sharing, despite that. They got out the parachute at Hoyt, which she loved, she talked about it the whole ride home from Ama and Grandpa Ada's.

Tonight we tried to put E to bed without her bath. It lead to a huge meltdown, she was red faced and screaming "no diaper" it took a good five minutes to calm her down enough to figure out what she wanted. She finally sobbed out "tubby" and we realized what the problem was. I guess the tubby is an important part of bed time.

November 30- Nate was home for a quick visit, and E was so excited to see him. After having Teddy home last week, it was nice for her to see her uncle Nate. We spent the evening with him. Nate is very good at building towers, which E enjoyed, and he was happy to read, or chase, or do pretty much whatever she wanted. And, Ama was nice enough to make dinner a party (she provided cake) so E got the party she'd been asking for.

 November 29- One of E's favorite foods are black olives. She will pick them out of anything they are served in and eat them. Once she's finished the ones on her plate, she moves onto my plate, and then dada's. Here, dada was eating some gourmet olives with pits and E insisted on having some too, so dada is trying to hold onto the pit but let her have some. It was quite the experience.