Saturday, December 29, 2012

It's a...


Eliza holding the ultrasound photo of her baby sister :)
We are so excited to welcome another girl into our family, and Andy said he is excited to be surrounded by beautiful women.  I told him he has to learn how to do hair now.  Heheh.  Baby girl looked healthy and we got a great look at her heart, her brain and all the important parts.  We are SO grateful!

ETA -- ack, I hit the publish button on this yesterday but then just logged back in to see that it never published!  Sorry!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Our ultrasound is in less than 12 hours!  It's THE ultrasound... and yes we will be finding out :)  Can't wait to share the news.  I'm anxious to know everything is okay in there, and to get another good look at our sweet babe.  Eliza will be coming with us and she is as excited as we are.  Afterwards, we're going out to lunch with my mama and then letting Eliza pick out something for baby at a local baby boutique (okay, mom and dad might also pick out a little something!).

I'll update as soon as I can!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

An annual tradition: Lefse! (And, a parenting lesson)

We continued an annual tradition this year when we gathered at my SIL's house to make Lefse.  My mom, my SIL, Eliza and me.

Eliza was eager to jump right in.  She wanted to do it all - roll out the dough, pick it up with the Lefse stick, transfer it to the griddle, and take it off the griddle.  But to those of you familiar with Lefse making, you know that it's a somewhat delicate process and so it was a bit challenging at times.  If I'm being honest, it was mostly challenging for me.  I'll admit it: my patience was running a bit thin that afternoon, and at the end of the day I felt badly for it.  I had been asking too much of her and got frustrated too easily when she would mar the raw lefse I had just rolled out, hit me with the lefse stick accidentally, get too close to the hot griddle, try to transfer a 1" thick piece of lefse to the griddle... you know... act like a 3-year-old.

When I thought about it, I realized that doing those things was the only way she would learn and get excited about these traditions -- by doing, trying, practicing.  I should have been more patient and should have channeled her enthusiasm into a task she could complete.  I need to remind myself of this, especially in my most frustrated moments.  I will do better next time.  I think I have done better since then... trying to let go of the little things, the things that do not matter (lefse, for example!).

Whew!  This parenting stuff can be hard.  Heh.

Anyway.  It was still a memorable, fun day.

And my mom took some great pictures!  Lookit!

Mom, displeased with how the new griddle is acting... cooking unevenly, and not hot enough. 

Lefse makers!  Eliza loved that stick.

Figure 1: lefse I just rolled out, about to get it from that smirking 3 year old wielding a stick as tall as she is.

Oh! And we also made rudolph cake pops that day!

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Shy Smile for Santa

The obligatory pic with Santa happened Wednesday at a gloriously NOT busy Santaland.

Eliza loved it - the whole thing - walking through the "North Pole" beforehand and seeing Santa's elves getting ready for Christmas, then walking through the Claus residence, and finally, getting to sit on his lap.  She was shy (ohsoshy) but seemed to enjoy the experience nonetheless.

We don't talk about Santa very much around here.  I mean, she knows about him, and has gleaned a lot of information from books, grandparents, friends, and some from Andy and me as well.  It's not that we're Santa haters, we just don't focus on him/it as a focal point of the season or as a reason to behave. The whole 'Santa is watching' thing creeps me out.  So we don't connect Santa with "naughty" or "nice".  She knows he'll bring her a gift or two and they will be waiting under the tree on Christmas morning, and she thinks he's a pretty cool, magical dude.  Oh, and he has reindeer!  She loves that.  So, for now that's where Eliza is with the whole Santa thing.  

How do you all do the Santa thing in your house? 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A Learner

We've been reading to Eliza since she was a tiny newborn.  Obviously, right?  So maybe it shouldn't have come as a surprise when she started asking what words meant or "how does that word sound mama?" when we'd read books or when she'd be looking at books quietly in her room.  Recently, we've started to notice her expressing frustration over the fact that she "can't read the words"; she is no longer content to just look at pictures.  At 3, we have on our hands a girl who desperately wants to learn to read.

What do I do with this child?!  I wondered.  How do I help her??

We talk about the alphabet constantly.  Of course she knows and sings the ABC song, loves identifying letters in words, and is now able to tell the sounds of nearly all 26 letters.  We answer her questions as she asks them, and help her learn as she wants to -- never actually instructing her in any real way, always remembering that kids at her age are absolutely ready to learn, but not so ready to be taught.

I asked about this in our ECFE class on Monday about this.  I wondered if anyone had any tips, suggestions, resources, books? I don't know - SOMETHING - to help me help her.  Because surely, I thought, surely I am not doing enough to help her.  She is voraciously eating up anything I tell her before I can think of what to even say next - could someone please recommend something I could do/buy/watch to help this child?  

Now -- I think this is an apt commentary on the state of what mothering in this culture and day and age does to a mama -- the mental mind games it creates -- because when the parent educator's response to me was simply: "Just keep doing what you're doing, Ella. Answer her questions. Read to her. What you are doing is enough", it was as if someone took my by the shoulders and shook me into an awareness of 'of course that's enough, what have I been thinking?'.  I was doubting my abilities to guide her, afraid I would actually somehow stifle this blossoming curiosity for words and reading and writing.  For learning.  Me.  Stepping back, I am ashamed.  Why did I think that (my master's degree and almost-PhD have got to be good for something, right?  Haha just kidding)? 

Of course I'm enough.  DUH, ELLA.

At the end of class, the ECFE parent educator told me something I think I will remember forever - or, at least I will remember the feelings -- the goosebumps, the immense pride, the feeling of responsibility -- it gave me when she said it.  

"Congratulations, you have yourself a learner."

I guess I do!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Not Wordless Wednesday: 17 Weeks Then & Now

17 weeks with Eliza
This is now what 17 weeks looks like (Same shirt! Didn't even plan that).

Monday, December 10, 2012


Take a moment today and send some thoughts and healing vibes towards Alyssa -- she just experienced her second loss and is having a rough time.  The pain of miscarriage is so deep and so different for each woman.  No one should have to go through it, especially not more than once.  :(

Thinking of you, Alyssa.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


We woke up this morning to this:

Winter finally decided to show its face, and with quite a force.  By the time the day was over, about a foot of snow had fallen.  And in what was the most epic timing WIN ever, our new snowblower was delivered less than 24 hours before these photos were taken!

We had a lovely day. After an initial letdown this morning when my bff and I had to cancel brunch we had scheduled due to the driving conditions, we made a new plan for the day.  We walked all over our neighborhood, pulling Eliza on the sled, and stopped for lunch at a local restaurant and to watch the first half of a football game.  It was really fun (and yummy!).  On the walk (sled) home, she managed to fall asleep!  I can't believe she wasn't cold... but we did have her bundled up rather well (thanks to a friend who loaned us all her winter gear this morning - thanks Taunya!).  This is one of those moments I will never forget - it was just so sweet to see her sound asleep as we trudged over snow banks in 30 degree weather!

(It's safe to say this happening was thoroughly documented, don't you think?)
Later, while Daddy cleared snow outside, Eliza and I made a gingerbread house and decorated it.  She got really into this activity this year, and was quite focused on candy placement (and surprisingly, she didn't eat *that* much of the candy).  She kept saying "I placed the candy there! And there!"

Hard at work
This is the side I decorated...
And here is the finished product, you can see the side Eliza decorated - more is better, right!?!
We used a gingerbread house cutter to make this, and it was really simple and I think the shape is way nicer than a kit -- you can buy it here.  As a bonus, it comes with an amazing swedish gingerbread (pepparkakor) recipe.

It was a memorable, beautiful day!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Third Birthday Party!

The birthday party day arrived and she was SO excited she couldn't even nap!

She got her very own birthday crown.

She felt a little shy when guests started to arrive...

She loved her gifts, as any three year old does :)

Mama was so proud of her girl, who was all smiles and laughter until her head hit the pillow that night.

Funny story: she couldn't blow the candles out! She tried and tried, but just did NOT understand how that whole thing was supposed to work (also, note my hand keeping her from putting her face directly above the candle flame).  It was hilarious!  She looked at me and her face said, "mama, what the hell is up with this? Give me some advice here!" - and I didn't know what to tell her! I didn't know how to explain how to blow out a candle (as opposed to simply spitting, which was what she basically ended up doing).  I guess we should have practiced!

It was such a good day!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lucky to be busy!

Sorry - I sort of fell off the face of the blogosphere there, didn't I? It's been a busy 3 weeks!

What's been going on around here? Let's see....

  • Eliza's Birthday Party
  • Weaning (yes! It happened, and I'm as shocked as you are)
  • Eliza's first (real) dental appointment
  • My orchestra concert
  • A newborn photo session for a good friend (with one of the cutest babies I've ever seen!)
  • Thanksgiving
  • Eliza's 3 year check-up
  • Christmas tree hunt (and subsequent decorating!)
  • Lovely neighborhood cookie party hosted by awesome new friends
  • The launch of the christmas crafts and cookie baking season! 
  • I accepted an adjunct teaching gig for Spring semester
This family has been busy in a happy-good-thankful way.  We feel grateful on a daily basis, even when the daily grind of parenting our dear girl can get frustrating... I could blog about that someday too, but y'know, I'm pretty sure most people already know what I'm talking about ;)

I hope to blog about much of the above in the coming week, but for now I'll leave you to watch this (sorta crappy) video of Eliza answering a few random questions on her birthday.  

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