February 26, 2014

that's what she said

Ryann:  "Here, I left you a large space, because you have a LARGE bum."

Ryann:  "Whoa Mom, that was a big bite!"
Me:  "It's ok, I have a big mouth."
Ryann:  "And a BIG stomach!"
What kind of theme do we have going here?

Ryann:  "Mom?  Here's the deal.  I'm just going to pretend I ate all my squeezy pouch, ok?"

And a little story about how I know this girl is my child.  Plus a reason I'm proud of her.  We went to a birthday party for one of her friends from school this past weekend.  It was at one of those inflatable places with slides and an obstacle course and such.  Before they got to go in and play they had to watch a little video with the rules on it, that said how many kids could be on what, how to go down the slide, etc.  Of course once they opened the door the kids all went nuts and many of them weren't abiding by what they had seen on the video (they're 3-6 and super excited, I get it).  Ryann was distraught by it.  "Mommy the video said to go feet first and they're going head first!  There are too many kids jumping.  The video said... the video said..."  She followed all the rules and was incredibly respectful to the other children and adults we didn't know.  Thumbs up kiddo.

Also?  She put her problem solving skills to work.  One of the slides had the tower of, well, spider web levels I guess?  Elastic or bungee bands spread across a level.  I want to say there was six or seven levels.  She wanted to climb it so badly, but it was HARD.  Many of the kids couldn't do it, and kept falling back down.  Long after several children had given up, she was still in there determined to figure it out.  And she did.  She couldn't climb it the way it was intended, she was just too short to push herself through each level.  But she discovered that by using the side netting as well as the padded rungs supporting the outside of the structure she could have enough stability and leverage to move up through the levels.  After that she zipped up there several times.  That girl is head strong and smart, that is for sure.  ;o)


In about one month she will be four.  FOUR.  That is insane.

February 20, 2014

the weaning dilemma

The fact that I am even writing this post amazes me.  If you would have told me when I first wrote about my internal debate to nurse Elsie or not, that I would be struggling with the decision to wean after she was one, I would have laughed in your face.  I was fairly certain that I wouldn't make it past the six week mark, was pretty confident that we'd be done by six months, and I was adameant that as soon as she got teeth it was all over.

And yet here I sit, with a 12.5 month old who still happily nurses 3-4 times a day, debating whether or not it is time to coax her to wean.

man, my girls and their baby blues

For the must part, Elsie and I have had a very easy nursing relationship.  I have never had to supplement with formula, and she has gotten maybe a dozen bottles over the past year.  I despised pumping and cleaning bottles and parts and crap so I pretty much always made sure that that I was around to nurse her.  Of course that caused me to miss out on a heck of a lot of free time and date nights, but I don't look back on the past year with regret for any of that.  But it was the most difficult part of our nursing relationship.  Me feeling so chained to her.

So one would think I'd be jumping at the highly accepted 'appropriate time' to essentially cute her off, right?  But I'm not.  Why, I'm not 100% sure, but I didn't even attempt to drop a feeding until after her first birthday.  As of yesterday I've cut the sessions that I offer to three, when she wakes, before nap and before bed.  They are the most productive ones and the least annoying to do, sort of anyway.  I've offered whole milk a handful of times, cold and warm (just in a sippy since she never drank out of bottles anyway) and every time she hurls the cup across the room and gives me a disgusted look.  I know that it will just take time for her to warm up to it, but I don't see it happening any time soon.


I'm antsy for the freedom that weaning would bring me.  I look forward to wearing real bras and not tailoring my clothing choices around nursing.  I want to wake up in the morning and go for a run when I want, without having to worry about pumping or waiting for E to wake up.  But are those reasons to force her to stop?  Not that I'd cut her off cold turkey, it would definitely be a gradual approach, but should I play a part in it?  Or completely follow her lead?

It isn't like I have any time away from the girls planned (though that would be nice!  love you girls, but this mama has only been away for a night once in the last FOUR YEARS).  I'm not hoping to be pregnant in the immediate future.  Nursing isn't really hindering my life that much.  I know the milk is still benefitting Elsie, especially since she has no interest in cows milk just yet.  Plus there have been a few times that I thank God that I am nursing Elsie, such as when she completely breaks down at the doctor and nothing but boobs will console her.  And it is no doubt the easiest way to get her to sleep.


But... it could be nice to be done.  And it sure would be nice to take a few less heel kicks to the jaw throughout the day.  Nursing seems to be somewhat of a contact sport in E's eyes.  So what to do, what to do.

Elsie hasn't seemed to care too much about the nursing sessions I dropped.  Both of which I replaced with snack, because they were when Ry was eating a snack and Elsie would rather eat food than nurse anyway.  But she has become noticeably more clingy to me.  Occasionally acting like she wanted to nurse, but never truly upset, just wanting to be attached to me somehow.


I suppose the best answer is to just keep at it for now, since I seem to be unsure about stopping.  But I'd love to hear how you other mamas have approached the situation.

February 18, 2014

why to have two kids.

So that when one wants a ride on a push toy, the other one can do the job.


E wore those glasses for a good five minutes while Ryann did laps pushing her around the room.  I couldn't stop laughing, they looked hilarious.

Seriously though, watching Ryann and Elsie play together and love each other makes all the difficulty of parenting two children worth it.  I won't lie, there have been days when Ryann is mad because she wants to do this or that and I have to tell her we can't because Elsie needs a nap or I need to be able to watch Elsie or anything because of Elsie, I feel guilty.  Guilty that I took something away from Ryann by having another child.

But I think she has gained so much more by having a sibling.  And it melts my heart.  This morning Elsie was crying, there were tears rolling down her cheeks.  Without saying anything Ryann used her thumb to wipe away the tears and laid her hand on Elsie's arm.  I had to choke down the lump that rose up in my throat, it was such a tender little moment.  Sure they fight, but my word do they love each other.  I'm sure those feelings will only intensify on both ends as they get older.  But hopefully the good will continue to outweigh the bad.


And the giggles.  Oh my goodness the giggles.  They totally make having two amazing.  The way the can just look at each other and make faces and crack up.  Christopher and I have no idea what is so funny, but they find each other hilarious.

the amount of time they spent doing this and laughing is absurd

Having two children is hard, but I wouldn't change it for anything.

Hopefully I still feel the same way if, God willing, we have more!

February 17, 2014

this and that

How long has it been since I've thrown in a random post?  Far too long I think.  But I'm cozy on the couch with my laptop waiting for Christopher to finish working out so we can watch the new Thor movie, so I figured why not.  Everyone feels better after a good brain dump.

::  First things first, I dropped my phone in the toilet this afternoon.  Yep, plunked right in the damn thing.  No I hadn't used the toilet before this happened.  My phone was in my back pocket and I completely forgot about it.  I stood there for 15 seconds or so just staring at it, unable to comprehend what just happened.  I've used it a little bit (yes, after wiping it down with clorox wipe) and it sort of seems to be working fine.  But all the sudden my phone service disappeared, so it's sitting in a bag of rice.  I've got everything crossed that I didn't destroy it, I just got it in November!  This is the first time I've ever damaged a cell phone/smart phone of any sort.  Boo.

::  I considered doing a whole post detailing our Valentine's day, but overall it was pretty uneventful, so I decided to just sneak it in here.  Chris and I agreed not to get each other anything.  Instead we watched Ender's Game on the couch together.  It works.  I made a festive breakfast for the girls.  We went to a playdate at a friend's house.  Pink popcorn and pink pretzels for snack, and mini heart shaped pizzas for dinner.  Valentine's day might be one of my favorite holidays simply because I enjoy pink and hearts.  I don't really care if it is a 'Hallmark holiday', I enjoy the excuse to do something out of the norm and a reason to dress up my kids :o).


::  I put a fair amount of time and energy in to planning Elsie's first birthday party.  It went well, everything looked cute, she was in better than expected spirits, I was happy with it.  Now I need to figure out what the heck to do with Ryann's party.  I tried to convince her that a pajama party the morning after her birthday would be great, with breakfast food and such.  Yeah no dice.  She wanted princesses and unicorns and butterflies and purple and pink and coral and the rainbow.  Hmpf.  That is fine and dandy, whatever, I'm down.  Except she still doesn't really have a lot of 'friends' we would invite.  Sure she has plenty of little friends and school, dance and gymnastics, but I don't really know the parents, and I feel like at this age for the most part the parents still stick around.  Not to mention Ryann's best friends are boys, and I'm not sure they'd all be real hip on coming over for a princess party :o).

I thought about maybe having a unicorn playdate party for some kids and moms during the week and a family breakfast of sorts the day after her birthday, but she has already told me that she wants the same people that came to Elsie's party to come to her party, and I feel like that would leave out some people.  So I guess I hope all MY friends and Chris's family are up for playing some 'pin the horn on the unicorn', because that is where we're at!

::  There are three 'sessions' of laundry piled up in my room.  Not like three loads, like I've done laundry three times in the last 10 days or so, and we um, haven't put any of it away.  Well that is a lie, I put the girls' laundry away.  But ours?  Not so much.  I loathe laundry.  But truthfully it is only the putting it away part that I hate.  Well, that and the fact that my washer and dryer are in my creepy basement and I hate going down there.  But still.  Putting laundry away is quite possibly my least favorite chore.  Maybe if we have main floor laundry in our next house.

::  Speaking of next house, I am so ready to move.  We know we will move after Chris's fellowship.  So I've got roughly 16 months left in our current house.  I CAN'T WAIT.  Depending on if Christopher gets a contract that he is pretty sure he is going to get, we are toying with the idea of building.  We've found a floor plan that we LOVE.  Now it's just a matter of collecting the funds and finding a lot.  And probably a million other things that you have to do before you up and build a house, but that is beside the point.  Just get me out of our current house asap, please and thank you.

::  To keep myself from buying any more leggings and headbands off etsy, I should probably put the computer away and go to bed.  Because I am addicted to leggings and headbands.  And don't sleep enough...

February 16, 2014

my littlest valentine

I wanted to do a little valentine's photo shoot with both girls, but Ryann wasn't having it.  And Elsie barely was either.  Ry coaxed her to smile a little bit, but they both just wanted to go play.  Naturally, on the best ones, I was slightly out of focus.  Oh well, I still think she is insanely adorable.


February 15, 2014

a day in {my} life

Lately I've been having a hard time making myself sit down to blog.  And I know if it feels like a chore that I shouldn't be doing it, because this blog is for me.  Something that makes me happy.  But the reality, is that it isn't just for me.  It is for my girls.  So one day when they're older they can look back and see what life was like when they were little.  My life pretty much revolves around those two little girls, so I more or less owe it to them to keep this up.

I figured the best way to jump start getting back to documenting more of our daily happenings was with a day in the life.  It has been a while since I've done one.  I actually document one of our days way back in October, but I didn't take very many pictures and never converted my notes in to a post.  So it is about time to get one written out!

I haven't yet decided if I'm going to bring back the 'day in the life series'.  If you really enjoyed reading them let me know and maybe I'll think about it.  I just got a little worn out on organizing it (even though it isn't even that hard).


February 12th, 2014 - Ryann is nearly four and Elsie just turned one!

2:20am:  I hear Elsie on the monitor.  Oy.  She had done so well sleeping through the night for a couple weeks, and now this is the third night in a row she has woken up.  I want to ignore her, but the fastest way to quiet her down and make sure everyone else stays asleep is to just nurse her.  I'm in her room for about 20 minutes, and I lay her back down awake.  She goes right back to sleep on her own and I manage to drift off quickly as well.

6:12am:  Ryann is standing over my side of the bed.  She could care less about sleep buddy these days and just comes out of her room whenever she feels like it.  And I'm pretty sure she knows we won't fight with her at that hour because we want Elsie to stay asleep.  Little punk.  Chris says he'll meet her in the family room, but I swear he starts snoring again so I get up.  He starts to say he'll go, but I'm already out of the bed so I make my way to the couch.  Ryann plays happily by herself for all of like two seconds before she wants me to join her.  I inform her that any interaction I have with her before 6:45am will happen from the couch.

Shortly after that Ryann tells me she saw a man walking in our house.  #$!&%^*!#$!  What?  After a lot of back and forth she claims she saw a man walking in our living room.  A bald one who was big.  I'm totally creeped out.  I'm hoping she is just making stuff up to get my attention, but nonetheless Christopher does a sweep of the house just to make sure.

6:48am:  We hear Elsie awake on the monitor.  I grab my camera charger and get it plugged in so that hopefully my camera will last all day.  Ryann goes in to bug Chris while I go to Elsie's room.  I change her diaper and sit down to nurse her.  Meanwhile Ry has Chris get her a muffin, and after scarfing it down she wants to watch 'her shows'.  She generally gets an hour of TV in the morning.  I feel guilty about it every day, but it does help me get some stuff done.

7:25am:  Christopher leaves for work.  Both girls are zoned out on Mickey so I try and quickly pick up a few things.  Our house is a DISASTER.  Laundry that needs to be put away, toys everywhere, party decorations still up, dishes on the counter.  It is to the point where it is such a hot mess that I don't know where to start.  I go with the living room and get a few things put away.  But as I'm dropping off some toys that belong in the family room I notice a not some pleasant odor coming from Miss E's direction.  After getting her changed I decide to make breakfast for the two of us.  Elsie starts off on the kitchen floor, but is quickly relocated to the pack 'n play because she just can't keep her hands out of the cabinets.


8:00am:  After turning off the TV Elsie and I sit down at the table to eat.  We share some scrambled eggs and toast, buttered for her, peanut butter for me.  It is nice to have a child to share my meals with (sometimes), it makes it seem more worth it to do some cooking during the day.  Ryann joins us at the table to color.  After we're done eating I rinse the dishes and get the dishwasher loaded, only to realize we're out of dish detergent.  BOO.  We all play for a little bit before I get both girls dressed.


8:56am:  I decide to lay Elsie down and see if she wants to take a morning nap.  As I expected she paces the crib and starts chewing on the rails.  We need to get teething guards badly.  I leave her in there for a little bit while I get dressed and fix Ryann's hair.  E starts getting really pissed so I give in and get her up.  Really I should just stop trying to get her to take a morning nap, but for some reason I still feel like she is supposed to?  No idea.  My kids are very anti sleep.  I decide that we are going to try and meet Sarah and Collins at an open gym, so we get stuff moving so we can head out.  A quick snack for Ryann, a quick nursing session for Elsie (although I don't think she is amused and would rather have snack with Ryann!).  I tell Ryann to go put on some socks and shoes, and what she comes back with is well, interesting.  ;o)  Not gonna fight it!  Naturally just as were finishing up putting on shoes and jackets Elsie poops again.  That girl, she makes no sense.  She is either constipated, or poops a million times a day.  There is no happy medium.


9:58am:  We're finally in the car and on our way.  I look up the address on my phone and see it is a pretty easy place to get to, something I'm thankful for because I HATE driving to places I've never been.  When we arrive at the community center I park by the main entrance, but only see old people going in and out, nobody with kids.  I call Sarah and she says just to go in the door and ask at the desk, that we're in the right place.  So we head in.  We find our way to the gym and Ryann is beyond excited.  There are a couple of bounce houses, tons of bikes and ride on toys and a couple of playhouses.  She is quickly off and playing.  I spend the next hour trying to keep up with her while letting Elsie play some too.  At one point I let Elsie get in a bounce house and she has zero interest in getting out.  She just keeps happily bouncing on her little bum and I have to drag her out when some older kids climb in.  She is not pleased with me at all.  At one point while we're playing in the gym E takes several steps on her own.  Getting closer to walking every day!


11:23am:  Back in the car and on our way home.  The mission?  Keep Elsie awake until we get there.  The biggest downfall about letting her skip her morning nap is that when we are in the car between 10:45-11:30am it is quite the task to keep her from falling asleep.  Thankfully between a book and Ryann yelling we manage it.  When we get home I get to work on lunch while the girls play in Ryann's room.  At some point Elsie wanders in to the kitchen and I notice she stinks yet again.  I quickly finish getting Ryann's lunch together and on the table and then change Elsie.  After lunch we all play a bit more, and while Ryann is 'crafting' who knows what, I take Elsie to her room to nurse her and lay her down for a nap.

no need for sign language, you'll know if she wants more ;o)

1:00pm:  I've been letting Elsie nurse to sleep for naps (sleep training fail), but today no dice.  So I lay her down.  Surely she'll go to sleep, right?  I read a couple of Curious George stories to Ryann and then work on picking up the family room a little bit.  Why I do that I have no idea, as soon as Elsie is up the girls will trash it again.  After about half an hour E is still just wandering her crib and kind of pissy, so I check to see if she needs a new diaper.  Nope, so I tell her to lay down and put her back in her crib.  Ryann and I start working on her valentines for school.  Elsie continues to whine and yell for another 30 minutes.  Not cool at all, no nap just isn't an option in my book.

2:05pm:  I cave and nurse Elsie to sleep.  Really I think it is just better for all of us if she takes a nap, and Ryann and I have valentines to make!  Our valentines were definitely nothing special.  But Ryann helped put all of it together, and she was so incredibly proud of her work that it made it all worth it.  I loved watching her sign her name, and she drew some of her friends little pictures.  Her teacher had given us stickers with each child's name on it to help the kids pass them out and I was impressed that Ryann recognized every name without any prompting from me.  She selected which bubble wand and which dum dum each kid got, helped me punch the holes and string ribbon through the cards.  She was really just so dang proud of herself I couldn't help but smile.  Definitely beats me putting together some perfectly calculated corny play on words card and just having her write her name (not that I find anything wrong with that, because it is totally what I wanted to do).


3:43pm:  Elsie starts fussing so Ryann and I clean up our mess.  We go in to get Elsie and wouldn't you know, she pooped again.  I get her changed and then we all go to play in the family room.  We also face time with my parents who are in Georgia right now.  So jealous.  I hate snow and cold so much.  Not the point though.  Ryann and Elsie lose interest pretty fast but we talk for a while.  I manage to get Elsie to walk a few steps so they can see.  After we've hung up with them we read some books and then move on to dressing up.  Ryann decks us out, and after I take a picture of her and Elsie, she wants to take a picture of me.


5:17pm:  Daddy is home!  Christopher did me a HUGE favor and came home for an hour between work and a dinner he needed to attend for work.  We live 30 minutes away from the hospital so it meant an extra hour in the car, but man did it make a world of difference in my attitude for the evening.  I know I'm not the only mom who feels this way, that I can handle 7am-4:30pm by myself like a champ and we get along just fine, but from 4:30-7:30pm on my own pretty much feels like hell.  At least one of them is always crying at some point during that time frame, especially in the half hour before dinner is served, so it is much nicer to have a second pair of hands around.  Ryann begs Chris to play in our bed while I finish up dinner, so I start walking Elsie to the bedroom to hang out with them.  I let go and she manages to walk the length of the hallway by herself.  When she finally plops down Chris and I cheer and I think it scared her.  Whoops!  The girls and I eat dinner, and then Christopher gives them a bath.


6:30pm:  As soon as the girls are dried off and in pajamas it is time for Chris to head back out.  Ryann has been VERY in to watching Planet Earth type movies, so we pop in one about the Congo in Africa.  I have no idea why she likes them so much, I'm also skeeved out by all the creepy crawlies and I don't like watching animals fight and such.  But she loves it.  Elsie and I play in the family room while Ryann is watching the video.

7:10pm:  I take Elsie back to her room to get ready for bed.  Dry diaper, cozy jammies over her cotton ones and a little nursing session and she is good to go for the night.  I don't understand why at bedtime I can lay her down wide awake and she goes to sleep without a peep, but for naps it takes her at least 25 minutes to wear herself out enough to sleep.  When I head back to the family room I find Ryann watching the menu of the movie, poor girl.  I have no idea how long it has been over, and she was just staring at the screen.  I'm going to guess she was tired.  I grab some books and snuggle up with her on the couch to read.

7:55pm:  We start getting Ryann ready for bed.  One last trip to the bathroom to go potty and brush teeth and then we both crawl in to her bed to snuggle.  Bedtime has gone a lot smoother if one of us just lays with Ryann until she falls asleep.  Otherwise she comes out or plays in her room for a long time before actually falling asleep.  Usually Chris lays with her but since he is gone it is up to me.

9:05pm:  I wake up in Ryann's bed.  Whoops.  The main reason Chris is the one to lay with Ryann?  I ALWAYS fall asleep.  I think I've only not fallen asleep maybe 3 times?  Then I just feel like butt and have to go to bed myself.  But I really do enjoy snuggling with her.  Just as I'm coming out of her room Chris comes in the door.  We both grab a little snack and sit on the couch and talk for a while.  Then I remember I needed to add some tape to Ryann's valentines because the stuff kept falling out of the ribbon.

10:00pm:  We're both tired, it's bedtime!   

February 12, 2014

elsie - twelve months

attempted to write this February 10th.  however the KU/K-State game was a wee bit too distracting.  damn basketball game.  so written February 11th.

For the record, I'm pretending Elsie isn't one.  Yes, I'm aware she is and I can't change that, but nope.  Not one.  Sorry kid.


Today we got to have another lovely TRAUMATIC trip to the pediatrician for a well child check.  Why Elsie hates the doctor so freaking much I have no idea.  I mean I get it, kinda.  Strangers, people looking at you and such, but the second the nurse tried to measure her head, while I was actively holding her, E was done.  Then the nurse took her out of my arms to go weigh her.  Elsie was NOT having it AT ALL.  She screamed and screamed and screamed some more.  I'm sure it doesn't help that she was probably tired, it was what should be morning nap time (even though the kid pretty much refuses morning naps now).  But it was ridiculous.

Aside from the screaming (that lasted the ENTIRE appointment), our visit went well enough.  Elsie has definitely had a growth spurt in the last two months, now weighing in at 20 pounds 10 ounces (42nd percentile), and measuring 29 inches long (44th percentile).  At her 9 month appointment she was falling in to the 24th and 30th respectively, so I was impressed.  Not that I should be surprised.  E will easily put down a half an avocado plus more food for dinner.  She LOVES to eat.  More on that in a bit.


We discussed her constipation issues, and just like many suggested on instagram, our doc wants us to try adding flaxseed to her diet.  We also got a referral to see an eye doctor about her clogged tear ducts.  Lately they have been looking SO much better, but if she is congested at all they are really nasty.  Our pedi said it was better to have the consultation and let the eye doc decide what to do now, because if we waited it could end up no longer being a probe procedure, but a stent placement and then at a later date a stent removal.  That doesn't sound fun so I guess a trip to the eye doc it is. 

Another thing on the list that sounds like zero fun is blood work.  The office we go to requests a full work up at one year, and when we did it with Ryann it was seriously one of the most traumatic experiences of her little life, for her and us.  The though of going through that again makes me want to cry.  But it is better to be safe than sorry I guess.  Because we will already be having blood drawn, our pedi would like to test Elsie for allergies to oats and rice.  Even though we haven't had any vomitting episodes lately, the fact that she seems to react to foods in one way or another that contain rice or oat flour makes the doc want to check for the allergies, just to be safe, before we attempt to reintroduce those foods.  Hopefully it is just a sensitivity that she will grow out of.


As soon as I'm done writing this post I am forcing myself to go down to the basement and find the boxes of 12-18 month clothes.  Leggings always seem short on Elsie, but now the majority of her 6-12 month pajamas and tops look way too small.  The dresses and onesies are still alright, but I have to stop making the poor girl wear high waters all the time.  Especially since it is zero degrees outside.  The one thing that doesn't seem to be growing quickly (yet) are her feet.  Size 4's are just now starting to stay on, but they are definitely way too big.  We still have her in size 3 diapers, but I could see her growing out of those in the next few weeks, unless she starts walking or something and slims down a bit.  And because no paragraph seems like the right one for this to go in, she has five teeth, with a sixth looking like it will make an appearance in the next week or two.

Back to the fact that Elsie loves to eat.  It is just crazy how different she is than Ryann in terms of food.  There isn't anything she won't try at least once.  Sometimes she eats more scrambled eggs for breakfast than I do.  She loves blueberries, strawberries, pears, avocado, cheese, meatballs, pork, chicken sausage and pancakes.  She also likes peas, carrots, black beans, other beans, bread, crackers, things of that nature.  She has surprised me and doesn't really like chicken nuggets or french fries.  Oh darn.  She is still nursing four times a day.  Part of me wants to start pushing weaning more, and the other part just doesn't care.  As of Saturday I did drop our late afternoon session, since it was lasting maybe five minutes and she was much too anxious to just go play with Ryann.  Next to go will probably be our mid morning one.  The early morning, before nap and bedtime ones are the ones that I think will stick the longest, but anymore I don't know if she would care too much as long as she got to eat something :o).


Sleep is, well, fine.  Really.  Nothing terrible at all.  We did some sleep training which really wasn't all that terrible at all.  Except for the fact that now Elsie doesn't take a morning nap because she is just to hopped up on life or something to actually lay down and sleep.  At bedtime she goes to sleep no problem.  I nurse her, rock her a bit, lay her down and I don't really hear much of a peep out of her until at least 4am.  We had a pretty good stretch of her sleeping until 6am or later, but the last week or so she has probably woken up between 2:30am-5:00am at least 3 nights.  I wanted to not nurse her at night anymore, but it is the absolute fastest way to quiet her down.  I don't nurse her back to sleep, just let her for a little bit and then lay her back down.  That is all it takes.  Yes, it is still disrupting my sleep, but it could be a whole lot worse.  We'll see what happens as we move more towards weaning.  Bed time is between 7:00-7:30pm and she is usually up for the day between 6:30-7am.

Nap time is really where we have the issue.  Morning or afternoon, if I don't nurse her to sleep Elsie takes at least 30 minutes to fall asleep.  Sometimes it takes an hour.  I just don't get it.  She knows what is going on, we follow pretty much the same routine everyday.  For the most part she doesn't cry, but sometimes after a while I think she gets pissed that she is just hanging out in there.  If she wakes up before 6:30am I try hard to make her take a morning nap around 9, otherwise she goes down for a nap between 12:30-1:00.


Elsie still has yet to truly stand unassisted.  She has a few times for a few seconds, but if you try and stand her up by herself she quickly just drops to the ground.  She is showing a preference for cruising over crawling now, and has gotten relatively good at walking while holding on to someone with just one hand.  Still looks a wee bit drunk, but she gets the job done.  On February 1st she did take her first steps!  It was maybe three between Chris and I, but they were three solidly good steps.  I'm not sure that she'll be walking by 13 months, but my guess would be for sure before 14 months.  Just taking her sweet time, marching to the beat of her own drum.  Oh and this month she finally gave up pointing at things with her middle finger in favor of her index finger.  I'm glad because that saves us from some awkwardness, but I kind of miss it.  It was too funny.

E is starting to pick up some animal noises and more words.  She knows what sound a dog, cat, cow, snake, elephant and lion makes, and she also makes a fishy face.  She can say Daddy hi, and off pretty clearly, and if you know what she is talking about she says kitty (ki-yee), owl (ow) and sissy.  Recently she started signing more at meal times, but she does it by just touching her index fingers together.  I think it is pretty adorable.  For the most part I've only shown her the signs for more, please, all done and help, but she doesn't seem to care much for signing.  She claps her hands, waves, gives high fives, knows where her head is, can blow the tiniest bit of air and shows me her muscles.  That last one is highly important, obviously.  If you're lucky she'll give you hug, and sometimes she will pat or rub my back while she does it.  Unfortunately she has also decided it is straight up hilarious to smack me in the face or pull my hair.  Not cool girlie.


Elsie is ORNREY.  So ornrey.  Aside from thinking it's funny to hit me, she gets such a huge thrill out of doing something she knows she shouldn't.  Like opening cabinet doors.  My word, she'll pull up on our refrigerator, and then just start laughing as she quickly cruises over to the pantry and flings the door open.  Or I'll hear little giggles as she heads towards the magazine basket and then she starts tossing them out one by one at lightening speed.  And I think dresser drawers might just be the bane of my exsistance.  She pulls them open and starts throwing clothes on the floor as fast as she can before someone comes and ruins the fun.  I never had to really baby proof with Ryann, but we have got to do something about all the cabinets and drawers before I completely lose my mind.

My favorite part about the stage Elsie is in right now, is watching her and Ryann interact more and more.  Now the back seat of my car is filled with giggles from both girls more often than not.  I have no idea what they are doing.  Ryann can definitely get Elsie to laugh the fastest.  Sometimes Elsie likes to tease Ryann, or at least I think that is what she is doing.  She'll reach something towards Ry, and when Ryann goes to take it she yanks it back.  That doesn't usually end well for either party involved but I still find it kind of funny.


I think the thing Elsie really loves, probably second in line only to eating, is bath time.  After dinner if you ask her if she wants to take a bath she starts freaking out and yanking at her clothes and charge crawls the bathroom.  She loves to splash like crazy and just hang out in there.  Now she throws a little mini fit when it is time to get out.  I hope the love of the bath transfers over to a love of the pool.  It didn't with Ryann, but I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Over the last month Elsie has also began to actually enjoy books.  That is definitely a thrilling development for me.  E now brings me books and wants me to read.  She really likes Rumble in the Jungle and doing the various animal noises that correspond to the animals.  She is also a fan of Dinosaur Roar, You Are My Cupcake as well as touch & feel or lift the flap books.  If only destroying lift the flap books wasn't so exciting.


Oh Elsie girl, I just love you to pieces.  I'm so happy you're mine.

February 11, 2014

dear elsie

sorry I didn't finish this on your birthday E.  mommy was just too tired from all the excitement of you turning one.  and the next night I fell asleep on the couch before sissy even went to bed!  love you sweet girl. 

My sweet Elsie Jo,

Where oh where has the time gone?  This has been by far the absolute fastest year of my life.  Suddenly you're one.  You've been here for an entire year.  I remember the day you were born like it just happened, and yet it seems as though you've always been a part of our family.

No doubt adding you to the mix made life pretty crazy this year.  Straight up zapped 75% of my free time!  Wait I take that back, you + your sister no longer taking naps is what zapped my free time.  Oh how I miss nap time.  But that is beside the point.  Yes, life was crazy, but my gosh I am so thankful you are in our lives.  You've touched my heart in a way I can't even explain.

To be honest I am in complete denial that you actually turned one today.  I did good, I didn't cry at all.  That isn't to say there wasn't a lump in my throat from time to time.  But I kept the waterworks under control :o).  Watching you grow and learn and change is so much fun.  You have quite the little personality emerging.  Yet I still want to keep you a baby for a long time.  I can't imagine you turning in to a 'real person'.  Can't I just cuddle your little self forever?  Who am I kidding?  You aren't a cuddler.  That would never happen anyway.

Elsie I hope you grow up knowing just how much you are loved.  It is a lot.  Sometimes we are busy and running here and there and taking care of sissy and doing who knows what, and I don't get as much time to just sit and be with you as I'd like.  But that in no way is a representation of how much you mean to me.  You make me smile a lot.

I just love you.

Happy Birthday Elsie girl.  I just can't believe you're one!!

Love Mommy.


February 10, 2014

and then I ate ALL the sugar.

I went a whole month without eating sweets with only a couple of cheats, and then in the first week of February I ate enough sweets to last me a couple of months.  Yikes!  I had a baby shower and a bridal shower the first weekend of the month, and with Elsie's birthday this past weekend (WAHHHHH!!!), I've made plenty of excuses to keep eating the sweets.  Hopefully I'll clean up my act soon, but there are still quite a few cupcakes, maccarons and some cake that are just calling my name.  I did send a whole box of cookies with Chris to work, but I couldn't make myself give it all up just yet.

Running has also really taken a nosedive.  I was busy working on party stuff plus Chris's schedule wasn't the greatest so I took a couple days off.  And then I've been having all sorts of issues.  Probably TMI, over the last few weeks if I run more than 2.5-3 miles the next time I use the restroom there is blood in my urine.  Google gave me a whole slew of options, from nothing to worry about to ohmygawd you're dying, naturally.  But I went with I've been a little dehydrated / not drinking enough water and some random stuff I read said running on an empty bladder can cause it.  Who the heck knows.

Then last Monday I woke up with a ton of pain in my left hip, lower back and pelvis.  Of course Chris wasn't home and I didn't know what to do.  I thought I was dying, or had a kidney infection or something.  I was nauseous and miserable.  After a little back and forth texting Chris told me to take some Aleve as well as consider finding someone to watch the girls so I could go to the ER.  Within 30 minutes of taking the Aleve it was if nothing had happened.  Yesterday morning started off in a very similar fashion.  This time Chris was home and was poking around my back.  The pain didn't really seem to stem from my kidney, but more from muscles and ligaments.  He suggested that some inflamtion is affecting my nerves.  I had gotten all my stuff together to maybe make a trip to the ER to rule out something going on with my organs, but after some Aleve and water I was feeling much better.  Except I'm 95% sure I have a UTI now.

So my body is winning at life right now.  NOT AT ALL.  Payback for eating sweets?  Sheesh, maybe.

Right now I haven't run since Wednesday.  It is stressing me out because I really REALLY want to run a half at the end of April, and I need to start adding to my distance.  But I know no race is worth injuring myself.  At the same time I wonder if there isn't something more going on in my body that isn't related to muscles and ligaments.  Don't you sometimes wish you could just go in for a CT or something for just a quick 'does everything look like its supposed to?'  No?  Just me?  Oy.


Debbie downer post as far as health and fitness goes right now.  Sorry.  Better luck next week?  Can it just be spring already?  I'm going to blame everything on winter right now, because I hate the winter.