Tuesday, November 29, 2011

At 2 Years Old

  • Eliza talks about everything and anything.  This afternoon, she said "There are too many noodles in my tummy, Mama!".  I reminded her that we had noodles for dinner a few days ago, but not today. "TUMMY HURTING", she said to me in [joking] reply.  Okay, honey!
  • Eliza plays pretend and makes up elaborate stories about her toys. Two of her bath toys are named after her two cousins, and her bath cow, aptly named "Cowgee" regularly flies on a plane (a baby bathtub, of course) to visit them in Seattle.  Then they all go home to the sink to have tea. 
  • She adores books lately, even more than before (and I thought she liked them before).  She's been reading them to her animals and dolls now.  I was working at the dining room table the other day when I heard her in her room reading to her Ernie doll.  I figured out which book she was reading just by listening to her tell the story to Ernie: "Three bears walk in woods.  Eat!" and then, "Run run run!".  Any guesses?  The Three Bears of course.  :)  It was priceless.
  • Totally unrelated -- but does anyone else watch the show 'Parenthood'?  They should just call it "The Show Where Everyone Talks Over One Another".  OMG SO ANNOYING!
  • Eliza is my little buddy these days - we have little chats, we go everywhere together (well, that's not really new), and we cook and bake together a lot too.  She has really gotten excited about helping us in the kitchen.  She knows all about the mixer, about what the olive oil is for, how to be careful around the stove, how to dump things into the bowl and stir... and she is so cute when she helps us. It's just so different - so so fun - now that she can talk so much and actually converse! 
  • Eliza is more like a little girl now at age 2.  In every way - her body seems more lean and long, her hands are little kid hands... no more baby fat and wrist rolls.  I miss the baby fat (and oh my gosh was she ever a chunk!), but it's so neat to see her growing - physically and otherwise - into a little girl.  Once she's potty trained and there's no more diaper butt (especially no more cloth diaper butt!), she'll seem even more grown.  I know, I know, that's the point, right??!!
  • Testing, testing, testing.  There's quite a bit of that going on in this house these days.  I can see her wheels turning... 'what happens when I do... THIS?!'  It's her job right now - y'know, all part of growing up.  Limits, logical consequences, positive reinforcement and discipline... yes, we've got it all going on.  And thus, our job is only just beginning!
  • I know I keep saying this - and I know every parent says this - but her language development has just gone nuts lately!  She uses words and phrases I had no idea she knew... she picks up EVERY. THING.  You only have to say something once - she'll repeat anything you say. It's so true what they say about kids being sponges.  

Well, I started this post yesterday night and now it's the next day and I'm at a coffee shop studying, so I better just hit 'publish' because I can't think of anything else, and I have to get back to work - my 10 minute break is up! You know, work for 45 minutes, take a 10 minute break...?  It's the only way I can get anything done... who is ready for this semester to be OVER???  THIS GIRL.

A 2nd Birthday in Photos

Riding "horsies" with Grandma

Riding the choo-choo with Mama.  Mama *barely* fit in that thing...

Birthday frozen yogurt

Birthday dinner at our favorite Pho place

Cupcake tower!  Coconut-vanilla made my Dada, salted caramel chocolate made by Grandma

Eliza loved her little cake, but just ate a few bites and then said she was done - very sensible girl (unlike her mama!!).

Opening presents (while wearing another present on her head - thanks for the headband Aunt Sarah!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


What are you thankful for today?  

...here's my list:

1. the warm kitty curled up at my feet
2. the good health of my family
3. knit socks
4. a certain toddler, wrapped up burrito-style after bath
5. my kindle
6. a husband who lets me sleep in
7. apple products
8. weekday morning breakfasts with eliza, my mom, and my dad
9. my education
10. an oven to bake pies in
11. my mom & dad
12. strangers who give random compliments
13. eliza's kisses
14. sweet notes from my husband
15. aveda products
16. my cozy comfy little house
17. a husband who can bake tastier cakes than I can
18. tea parties with eliza
19. yoga
20. laughing with my besties

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Eliza's party was today, and after a rough start to the day - refusing to nap, and she had a cold - the party was a success!  Our food theme was "dips", partly because the party was at 3:00 and I didn't want to serve a big meal, and partly because I was trying to avoid having to use forks (ended up still needing them, but oh well!), so we had guacamole and chips, devil's caviar (also for the chips), spinach and artichoke dip with crackers, baked brie and veggies and dill dip.  And then of course, there was dessert!  My mom made the most delicious chocolate w/salted caramel cupcakes, and hubby made the yummiest coconut-vanilla cupcakes.  I have to say, I could honestly not pick a favorite... so I had half of each.  Eliza loved her party, and was totally comfortable and happy even with all the people and noise and chaos (and without her nap) - she really is a trooper, so flexible and willing to go with the flow.

A few highlights from the day:
  • As everyone was singing happy birthday, I was holding Eliza's little cake out for her with the little "2" candle lit... and I started to tear up just watching her and listening to everyone -- so many people who love and care for her, who have supported us for the last 2 years -- sing to her, to my sweet girl... it was so overwhelming and touching and I think it just hit me that she's TWO now, and really her own little person... very memorable.
  • After she blew out her candle (she totally blew it out all by herself - haha it was pretty cute :) and everyone clapped, the room fell silent and Eliza just said "need spoon!".  HA!  The girl just wanted to dig into her cake!
  • My brother gave Eliza a special little straw sippy cup in the shape of a bunny.  It is completely adorable and "leak-resistant" - and I have to say, it really is!  I will let you all know when it hits the shelves, it's a bit of a preview of an item that his team worked on (he's an engineer).  I was really touched that he thought to give one to his niece on her birthday.
  • Eliza's Nana gave her a whole bag of gingerbread making supplies and other accessories for the Christmas season - it is so sweet!  There's a gingerbread house kit, lots of gingerbread cookie cutters (including the elusive gingerbread woman!), gingerbread cookie-making supplies, a sweet gingerbread-themed child-sized apron, and gingerbread man kitchen towels.  It was sweet because Eliza has really gotten into baking with her Dada, so it will be lots of fun for them (and I'll join in the fun too!).
  • Oh!  And one from earlier this morning.  Hubby and I set up her play kitchen - her gift from us - last night after Eliza went to sleep and so when she woke up this morning we brought her over to it.  The look on her face was so so so sweet; I think I will remember it forever!  It was the face of pure toddler joy, and also a shy little look that said "really? this is for me?".  Priceless.  
  • Eliza's voice got a bit hoarse by the end of the day - both because of her cold, and all the excitement, I think.  Bu that little voice talking like that was really cute.  Haha, is that horrible of me that I think my daughter's sick voice is cute??  It's a bit lower and all scratchy... I think it's adorable!
  • My amazing hubby did SO much work today - not only did he make the cupcakes, he did almost all of the party clean-up, and I am so grateful.  I hate that part of the party - I love the setting up, the cleaning and prepping FOR the party, but afterwards it's such a letdown and all I want to do is sit on the couch (or in this case, sit down and play with organize Eliza's new play kitchen, food, and dishes!!).
The day was wonderful and I so soooooo appreciate every one of the family and friends who help make Eliza's life so rich and full of love.  Many of those people were at her party today, but due to space issues (i.e. we live in a shoebox of a house - but it's a cute little 900 square foot shoebox!), some of those people were not.  So, to ALL of you (you know who you are!), thank you thank you thank you.  We are amazingly lucky and grateful to have such a network of loving friends and family who support us in so many ways.  I hope someday I am able to have all of you in one room together :)

Photos to come!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Eliza!

Happy birthday to the sweetest, smartest, most loved, happiest, cutest, most adventurous, flexible, reasonable, and fun TWO YEAR OLD I know!

To our miracle girl.  

Our long-awaited, hoped-and-dreamed-for... you.  It was always meant to be you.

Happy birthday to you, my little love.  

I can't believe it's been two years, and yet I can't believe it's only been two years.


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Two years ago.

Two years ago today...

I was laboring at home, writing emails to Hubby that got less and less coherent as the day went on.

I soaked my ginormous self in our teeny tiny tub, dreaming of what my baby would look like.  I got out, and my cat jumped in the water.  I then chased her soaking wet mop of fur around my house... and then had a contraction.

It was the last day I didn't feel the need to "suck it in".  Ah, pregnancy.

My mom got in a minor car accident on her way to my house after I called her telling her I thought I might be in labor.

Hubby came home from work to find me in full-on labor...then raced around the house packing a [second] hospital bag, not realizing we already had one packed and in the car.  We ended up bringing way too much stuff!

My mom took this picture:
Laboring at home.  I sort of forgot how much that hurt!
I learned that seat belts (and cars in general) were not designed with the laboring woman in mind.

I saw my husband become the best, most attentive, engaged birth partner I could have asked for.

My life was about to drastically change forever.

I was not yet a mama.

       ...and then, 16 hours after that picture up there was taken, I was.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Normal, Wonderful, Precious Day

We had a great day today.  It started out with mama sleeping in and then going to yoga with Ashley, and then going for tea and a croissant - a great start to my Saturday!

While I did that, Eliza and Dada went to breakfast at their favorite place, and then to a toy store.  Hubby has been looking forward to this for AGES.  He wanted to take Eliza and let her pick out one thing to buy for a special birthday present from him (did you know that baby girl turns TWO on Monday??).  He was more excited than she was, I think.  First, Hubby said they went to the bakery down the street from the toy store and shared a birthday cupcake (hey, we milk birthdays for as long as possible around here - we have what is called "birthday WEEK").  At the toy store, they played for over an hour before Eliza carefully chose what she wanted to bring home.  She finally settled on a tea set.  That is a very rare treat for our girl (um, so rare in fact that this was the first time it has happened!), and it was clear she understood that this was a special day.  Hubby said they came home and had a tea party together right away.  Aw.  Wish I had a photo of that!

I came home feeling great (although a little sore - getting back into yoga practice is tough!).  Tried to get Eliza to take a long nap since she went to bed late last night, but she thought 30 minutes was enough, so we just played and read books until Dada got up from HIS nap.  Then Eliza and Hubby decided to tag along with me to my hair appointment - they played at a playground nearby while I got my hair cut.  When they picked me up, Eliza said "nice hair, mama!"  Haha, I wonder who coached her?? :)  Then it was off to the Children's Museum where we had a great evening playing with face paints, exploring the new exhibits, as well as visiting her old favorites - she specifically requested the Habitot ("hava-tot") and water table ("otter table") galleries.  That girl is getting so good at demanding things communicating! ;)

After about an hour and a half of playing, we were all getting hungry, so Dada suggested we continue the birthday week celebration with a special dinner out for sushi.  Why not?  She's almost two, it's about time for her first sushi, right?  Hubby and I love sushi and were hoping Eliza would too.  We thought we'd give her an easy intro to the sushi world by ordering her a california roll.  She seemed to enjoy it!  It was pretty cute.  She also enjoyed watching the men make the sushi behind the bar and watching the Japenese cartoons they had playing on the TV.  It was a memorable, and really really fun day as a family of three.

Painting her face.  Then she moved on to painting Mama & Dada's faces...

Reading the Peter Rabbit story board at the Storyland exhibit

Getting ready to go on a safari in the rainforest...

Trying her first sushi roll!

Hubby and his girlie martini - note the face paint.  He didn't take it off until after she went to sleep tonight.  What a guy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A First (aka: Your Mom Getting All Sappy On You)

Eliza, today was a big day for you.  This morning, you went to play at the hourly daycare co-op that we joined.  You have been there once before, this was your second visit there.  Last week, you did great, though your teachers said you did get a little sad about 30 minutes before I came to pick you up.  But, even with that, you were happy as can be when I picked you up and you told me you had "fun!" playing there.  So I was not surprised when I dropped you off there again this morning and you happily said goodbye to me and started playing without a problem (you have NEVER ONCE cried when I have left you with someone!).

I returned three hours later.  When I walked in the room, I couldn't find you playing in the classroom anywhere.  All of a sudden I heard Teacher Claire's voice say: "She fell asleep about 45 minutes ago! Isn't she cute?".  

Hold up.


My brain did not compute.  Certainly she must have me mistaken for someone else (but she should KNOW who I AM, I thought.  How could she get me mixed up with another parent?  For that split second, I was so annoyed!), because you, my dear child, will not fall asleep for anyone but me (and sometimes Grandma) - no way, no how!  And yet, there you were.  Asleep on the big stuffed doggie in the corner of the room.  My sweet sweet baby - asleep...???  This was so out of context and confusing for my brain that I immediately starting panicking internally.  Yes, this over-protective mama's first thought was "AHMYGOD MAH POOR BAYBEE!"  I can't explain it, exactly, but my immediate fear was that you had been so upset that you cried yourself to sleep and were scared and alone and missing your mama, and, and, and...more drama and helicopter parenting, etc.  

Teacher Claire said that you did get a little sad while out on the playground, about an hour before I was scheduled to come pick you up, and that she told you that mama was coming back soon ("Mamas always come back!") and that you understood that and continued to play.  Then, you came back into the classroom with Teacher Claire and went to lay down on the floor with a baby doll.  She said you were a bit fussy and whiny and she thought you were tired.  So she picked you up and put you over on the big soft cuddly doggie and you fell asleep.  

Okay, that sounded fine... even though my brain was still confused, I thanked her, I woke you up softly and we went home.  

Then I started thinking more and worrying more (haha of course!) and wanted to know all the minute details of how this went down.  So, I emailed teacher Claire.  She was so kind and emailed me back right away.  Here is her email:

  • Hi Ella, I will break down Eliza's day for you:

    9-10 we have free play. Eliza played in the house area (she went on a picnic with some other friends). We read books ("The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry and the Big Hungry Bear" SEVERAL times) She played with the magnetic train set, balls and bean bags; pushed babies around in the cart; built and knocked down block structures...kind of a usual morning here. :)

    At 10:00 we have snack time. We had Cheerios and raisins. She ate a great snack and enjoyed hanging out with her friends.

    Around 10:15/10:30ish we have group time. We read our book "Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin" and talked about jack-o-lanterns. We sang Halloween songs, did the 5 Little Pumpkin flannel board story and sang Baby Beluga. We talked about the letter O practicing the sounds that O makes in the microphone and discussing words that start with O. She participated at group time and enjoyed singing the songs especially.

    Around 10:40/10:50ish we went outside to play. We were on the playground for about 10 minutes when she started to get sad and ask for mommy and daddy. Susan and I kept reminding her that moms and dads always come back. That seemed to help. She said "yeah" and then go play for another few minutes. This cycle repeated a few times. I asked if she wanted to come in early with me to set out lunches. She said yes, so she and some of the friends came in at around 11:20. She was so tired she was sort of whiney but not really crying. When we came into the classroom she laid on the floor with a baby and in about 30 seconds I could see that she was almost asleep. So I scooped her up and laid her on Big Puppy (mostly because she was in front of the door and I didn't want her to get stepped on when the other kids came in from the playground). She snuggled in and fell right to sleep. I was sort of expecting her to wake up when the class came in (and sat next to her on Big Puppy) but she didn't, she slept right through it!

    She was sound asleep by 11:30 and stayed that way until you came to get her.

    Her morning was great! She was busy all morning and played with many different toys and lots of different kids. She wasn't crabby AT ALL and she would let us comfort her and it seemed to help her to feel better. She just seemed to be worn out by the end of a busy morning. All the kids were--it takes a couple of days for them to come down from Halloween. :)

I was so very calmed and comforted by this email that I nearly burst into tears.  You are such a strong, smart little girl, Eliza.  "What a competent child," your Grandma said to me in an email today, "able to console herself and find comfort from others." It's so true.  You are growing up not only physically, but emotionally.  You are, as we say in the family field, securely attached.  You know that mom and dad are here and will have your back - and so, you are independent, you are growing (tiny, for now!) wings.  You know we will be here to catch you if you fall and so you feel confident going out into the world on your own.  Right now, that world is small and safe - it's your day care center - but you are exploring it and mastering it with ease and confidence.  Soon, it will be your grade school, your friends' houses, your peer group, your dorm room...your first job... and I know you will be just as confident in all of those settings.  Even if you feel sad or scared at times like you might have today, you will look back and see us there supporting you and rooting for you and you'll know that it's okay to go and explore and discover the new world around you.

It may sound like a silly little thing to some people, that you fell asleep on your own today... but it represented so much more to your daddy and me.  We love you so much and are so proud of you, and that will never change.



Wednesday, November 2, 2011

What she said.

My little chatter box is saying so much lately, I just can't keep up!  So many parents note (and remember!) when and what their little ones say down to the exact word and day, and I feel horrible because I can't even tell you which new words she learns on a day-to-day basis -- I just can't keep up!  She says new things every day, makes new sentences, comes up with things I know we didn't teach her... it's amazing to see her vocab and her speech grow by leaps and bounds!

  • Eliza said to me this morning as we were getting out of the car: "Eliza want to make cake".  I had to tell her that it was nap time so we couldn't make a cake right then.  To this, she replied: "Eliza sad".  
  • Discussing her Halloween adventures this afternoon with her grandpa, she told him: "Uncle Reid give Eliza candy".  It's true.  My brother gave her as much candy as she could eat on Halloween night when we drove over to their house for a surprise trick-or-treat visit.
  • As we lounged on the couch this afternoon, she told me: "nice nose, Mama!", followed by "nice chin, Mama!", and finally: "nice eyes, Mama!".
  • She really likes to recite the rhyme (with hand gestures of course) "Here is the church, here is the steeple, open the doors see all the people!".  It comes out more like "Here church, here steeple, open.........see peeeeeeeeeeople!" 
  • Eliza was sitting on a stool at our kitchen counter while I was making dinner tonight, playing with our jar of coins, a dish towel, and a magazine, and eating cheerios.  She said "Eliza having party!"  It was so cute!  And then she randomly said "Eliza funny".  She says this a lot.  She must think she is pretty funny :)  She is right, of course.
  • Counting is big in Eliza's life right now - we count everything these days.  She often counts my earrings, her elbows, her eyes, the cats... yes, counting to the number 2 is big around here!  She can count to five, too, but so far, it is coming out: "one...two...five!"
  • Some other favorites: "Belle chasing you!" (when she says "you" she really means "me"), "Eliza run away" (whenever she doesn't want to do something she is supposed to be doing - e.g. getting dressed).  "Eliza have one" (and she hold up one little finger when she says this).
My girl is talking up a storm these days - I wish I could remember every little thing she says.  This is just a handful.  It is just astounding how quickly she picks up new words and phrases.  I am really loving this age.  It comes with some extra challenges, sure - just like every other stage - but the ability to communicate with her is so cool...and handy!

Eliza's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 5 ozs
Going home: 7 lbs 10 ozs
5 days: 7 lbs 13 ozs
2 months: 12 lbs 6 ozs
4 months: 17 lbs
5 months: 18 lbs 12 ozs
6 months: 20 lbs 13 ozs
9 months: 24 lbs 3 ozs
12 months: 26 lbs 13 ozs
15 months: 28 lbs
18 months: 29 lbs 3 ozs
2 years: 32 lbs
3 years: 34 lbs

Alice's Stats

Birth: 8 lbs 11 oz
2 Months: 13 lbs 10 oz
4 Months: 17 lbs 15 oz
6 Months: 20 lbs 4 oz