Wednesday, October 27, 2010


I recently mentioned Joshua and his concept of "working." It continues to develop. The other day, I was in the kitchen, and Joshua came in carrying something. There was a flurry of activity, and he was gone again. I went into the living room, and he had all of the mixing bowls and other random items out of the lowest cabinet in the kitchen. I wondered what had inspired him to empty the cabinet, and David explained that Joshua was "working." Joshua had picked up his bag (a puzzle carrying case), gathered his utensils, and set to work!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Clap, clap, clap your hands

Ellie is, as they so graciously say on Sundays, a "very social baby." Translation: put her down and act like you might walk away. Just try it. The response you will get is an extremely dramatic leaning back of the head, opening of the mouth, reddening of the face... wait for it... that shrill scream will begin shortly! Maybe I have mentioned it before, but it really reminds me of a cartoon or something! Our sweet little girl simply loves company! She loves to play games and to be cuddled. I realized that she would clap in response to me when I started. Soon after, she started initiating the game herself. Then, David noticed that she started clapping when she heard the word "clap!" Hmmm... I wonder what all goes on in Ellie's head that we don't even understand!

Friday, October 15, 2010

9 months!

And how did it fly so quickly? Elle-belle, as we affectionately call her, is 9 months old today! I remember how for her first months, she never wanted to stretch her arms away from her body. Now, she flaps them all around in excitement as she explores. We love our girl!

Trips to Baylor

getting butterflies

running hills

Enjoying the grass

visiting the bears

Friday pizza picnic!

I just mentioned our outings to Baylor, and then I realized that we have lots of pictures of some of our favorite things there...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

You light up my life

Ellie's look of sheer joy and excitement. She balls up her fists, makes a funny face, and looks like she can't contain herself. My words don't do it justice...

Ellie has a stuffed pig that plays music when you pull on a plastic link attached to the tail. When it plays music, two little red lights in the cheeks blink. It is sort of weird, but she absolutely loves it. When I start the music and show her the lights, her face breaks into an immediate grin... many times in a row. It has never gotten old to her!

Ellie also seems to love walls. Yep, I meant to type "walls." The first example is the couch in the living room. She had gotten pretty unhappy any time I set her on the floor. One weekend, she was perfectly happy every time David set her down in the living room. I said, "Oh, sure, be content when there are actually two sets of hands to hold you!" David pointed out that she really liked facing the couch, maybe because it made her feel like she was in a smaller space on the floor. Well, we recently stopped using the baby bath tub, and Ellie's favorite bath toy is the wall! She likes to hold the rubber duck, but she usually drops it and turns away from me to look at the wall. Ellie flaps her arms, pats it, and squeals at it. I just wish I could get inside her brain! The third example is the kitchen wall. If I put her near the wall, she will inch her way over, (not crawling), until she can pat the wall.


looking at the dik-dik

Some new phrases/concepts/words Joshua loves:
  • Woh-een: (working), when he sees construction vehicles, where Daddy goes each day, the men on the roof of a building at the zoo, I think he gets it!
  • up-ee: (help me), the first example of pronoun mix-ups, Joshua most often uses this phrase when he wants to help Mommy with something rather than when he wants Mommy to help him with something
  • mnum-mnum: Most of Joshua's words make sense to us, but I have no idea how this means "raisin". Not to be confused with "Mum-mum" which is the name of Ellie's little teething biscuits
  • bee-woo: Baylor! Joshua loves to go to campus and see the bears, walk around, chase squirrels, etc. We recently found lots of butterflies, too! The last time he chased a squirrel, the squirrel had a nut he wanted to hide, so he wouldn't climb up the tree away from Joshua. David actually had to intervene Joshua kept getting soooo close to the squirrel, and the squirrel was getting obviously agitated.
  • dik-dik: this is actually the real word! It is Joshua's current favorite animal at the zoo.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Cleaning with Kids

HA...! :) I imagine that no one ever finishes a to-do list. As soon as you do, there is something else to do. Well, I have had a running to-do list of cleaning tasks since we moved in to our house that had been "cleaned" by the property management company. Today, I reached that rare place where it seemed nothing was pressing AND I had a burst of energy and motivation. I put Ellie in bed for her nap, and I spent some bubble time and Play-Doh time with Joshua. We tried out a new recipe together, and then I set to work on the baseboards and leftover grease-grime from who-knows-how-many-tenants before us. (In my defense, I have attempted this once before, but it needed a second round.) Joshua did great for awhile with his trucks and blocks strewn around me. About halfway around the kitchen, Ellie woke up. Now, she is perfectly happy to play in her crib for awhile, so we let her. However, the inevitable happened, and Joshua was ready for a diaper change. I pulled off my gloves and figured that while I was taking a break, I might as well get Ellie up. And since it was close to lunch time, we might as well have lunch. Which was followed by a near-immediate meltdown by Joshua who was ready for a nap. And then I realized I needed to clean the kitchen. By the time I finished that, Ellie was hollering because she can't crawl to the toys she loses yet. That mop bucket with the gloves hanging over the side is going to have to wait a little longer. Ellie and I hang out in the living room for awhile, and I dust. She is throwing one fit after another, it seems, so maybe she is ready for a nap. I put her in bed, and one hour later, she is still yelling (playfully) in her bed. I guess she wasn't quite ready to sleep! And here I sit, my burst of motivation and energy spent, telling you about the mop bucket that is still sitting in the kitchen...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Welcome, Autumn!

Joshua's "yat" from his first winter that Ellie will wear this winter.

Putting away the itty bitty socks... Ellie is enamored with socks. No matter her mood, if I give her a sock or two, she is occupied for awhile.

As everyone in Texas knows, the weather has been so nice lately. In some places, fall means the leaves change colors. Here, it means we can go outside without melting! In Waco, most nights and mornings have dipped into the 40s in the past week, so I have been busy sorting and washing winter clothes and sizes.

Anything but crawling!

When Ellie started to sit up by herself, I noticed that she didn't fall over very much. I remember that Joshua's learning-to-sit process seemed to last a long time because he would sit very well, but then topple over and whack his head on the very unforgiving tile floor of our apartment. Ellie hasn't had that issue until now, which leads me down a little rabbit trail...

It was so fun to watch how Joshua developed. Everything was very new and exciting, and the first year went by so quickly. It is equally fun to watch Ellie go through this process of the first year, but I thought it wouldn't all seem so new. Well, naturally the second time around we are more confident in many ways, but from day one, I realized how true it is that every baby is different. I have enjoyed watching Ellie develop and noticing the ways that she is different from Joshua. I often wonder how these differences will look when they are older. But I digress...

Ellie has started to topple over quite a bit. She has a big gash on her nose to prove it. There is no tile floor here, but there is Joshua's race track. Ellie's problem with falling is not because she has a balance issue; it is because she wants whatever she sees, but she is NOT willing to crawl for it! She leeeaaaaannnnsss over until she just isn't sitting any more. Sometimes it is graceful and gradual; other times, her arms give out and she hits the race track she so desperately wanted on the way down. Either way, it makes her MAD because this girl only wants to sit now!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Adventures in parenting

I guess you can't really have parenting without adventure because the normal things turn into adventures with little ones in tow. And with every adventure, we learn many lessons. :) Yesterday, we decided to go and have a picnic at Baylor. Our picnic was pizza that we picked up on the way. This may have been Joshua's 3rd picnic. I think it was Ellie's 2nd, but she slept in her carseat for the first one. Lessons learned:

1. ALWAYS use bugspray. Poor Ellie has two big mosquito bites on her sweet head alone! I will admit, they seem to bother me more than they bother her, but still...
2. Bring LOTS of napkins. Actually, I will go a step further and say bring lots of wipes.
3. If you think you don't need a stroller, you are wrong. You might disagree, but I promise, you will wish you had a stroller later. If not because one child gets heavy after awhile, maybe the other one will spit up her bright orange squash straight down the front of your white shirt. Not naming any names...
4. College campuses are not very stroller friendly, so maybe even use the jogging stroller for the hiking through the grass you are bound to do.
5. Also newsflash for parents spoiled by the conveniences of America: why WOULD the bathrooms at Baylor have changing tables? Really... how often is a student going to need to change a diaper between classes? (I didn't need the changing table; I just had to chuckle at the Mom who was irritated that she couldn't find one. I remembered the days in Lebanon where it was a pleasant surprise to find a changing table every now and then.)
6. Pizza is not the most picnic-friendly food for a 2 year-old.
7. Ellie likes grass a lot more than Joshua used to like it.