Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The big 101

So this is my 101st blog post. Yes, I know most people would have made a big deal about the 100th post, but me, I'm a rebel. I'm all about the 101. It has nothing whatsoever to do with forgetting about the 100th post until I'd already written the last post. Nothing at all. Like everything in my life, this is exactly how I planned it. Yeah. We're going with that.

Anywho, 101 posts. Maybe this doesn't seem like a big deal out there in the blogosphere, but for me, the girl with the big ideas and no follow-through, 101 is a big deal. Since I began the blog last April, I have dutifully blogged almost every week and would now consider myself a regular blogger. More importantly, I think this qualifies me as a writer because, as I tell my students regularly, "You can't call yourself a writer unless you write, but if you write, then you are a writer."

I was talking with a girlfriend recently about why I started the blog, and there are a lot of reasons. The most obvious reason is that it will be really fun to have a record of Ella's childhood when she gets older- all the little things she said and did that pictures can't show and that we will inevitably forget. But, the blog is not just for her, it's for me, too. Since childhood I've seen myself as a writer. I use to take my notebook out into the woods and write stories about princesses with long blonde hair who live in magical kingdoms. Then, of course, there was my blue period around fifth/sixth grade that was heavily influenced by Soap Operas (a lot of men getting slapped across the face and women coming back from the dead, that sort of thing). Throughout high school and college, I wrote and found my own little writing communities. And then I got a job and a husband and a kid, and the Lisa Frank spiral-bound notebook got buried under ninth grade essays, laundry, and old, crusty Play-doh. I spent less time seeing myself as a writer and more time remembering when I use to write.

Of course it was not my childhood dream to write a baby blog, but it is a place where I get to share my life through words and that is something I've always wanted to do. The best part is, I don't have to wait for someone to open my dusty old notebooks. My audience is out there listening right now, even it is only my parents. A writer needs to write and a writer needs an audience and my blog gives me opportunities for both. So, I guess this is something else to thank Ella B for. She is my "little, tiny" muse. Oh, and thanks to my mom and dad for reading my blog. Hi Mom and Dad! Aren't you guys glad I'm not writing about people getting their heads chopped off anymore? Yeah, I thought you would be. Though, P.S., I did get an A- on that poem. Just sayin'.

Happy 101! I included a picture at the top so you wouldn't just see all those words and decide to check your Facebook instead.

Friday, March 23, 2012

And then the world did not end...

So, as you might have guessed, Ella B and I both survived our time apart. Luckily, the training was unbelievably valuable, so my time away from her was not wasted, especially since she barely even noticed. Her days were filled with lots of Nene cuddles and presents and a trip to Robby and Joey's house, or "RobbyJoeyhouse" as Ella would say. The picture above is the result of an afternoon spent with Wendy, the mother of two five-year-old boys who doesn't play with little girl hair very often. Keep in my mind that this child throws a fit when I try to even put one ponytail in her hair and would rather spend her day pushing her locks out of her face like a two-year-old Justin Bieber. Note to self: Must study Wendy. Learn her secrets.

I couldn't wait to get home and hold that little nugget in my arms again, but of course she had to make me suffer. She pretty much wanted nothing to do with me for a good hour and only wanted to be in my mother's arms. Luckily, Arlo and Violet were playing outside and after a few minutes of pretending to be frogs and picking berries, things were back to normal.

There was, however, one more bit of punishment. At bath time, Ella B decided this night would be a good time to poop in the tub for the first time. I know, we're lucky we made it nearly two years without such an incident, but still, the timing was flawless. Michael was overjoyed. But as cheesy as it sounds, even when I'm scooping her poop with my hands, I couldn't imagine being anywhere else.

PS- Happy 100th blog post to me!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My heart breaks a "little, tiny bit."

Check out the picture above. I'm getting ready right now to leave that little nugget for three days. I know. Craziness. I have to go away for training and I am leaving Ella B for three nights and three days. I have never been away from her for more than a day, so as you might imagine, I'm a little bit anxious. Will Michael remember to brush her teeth? Will she freak out when I'm not there in the morning to snuggle her? Will her shirt match her pants? Will she match too much? Obviously the world is going to end while I'm gone. So, I spent the day trying to soak up all the Ella B love I could get, and of course she seemed double extra cute today.

We began with a solid snuggle on the couch while we watched Dora and split a clementine. Then she was all giggles and smiles at the diner. Before nap, we spent a good hour looking for worms underneath all the rocks in the yard, and as we speak she has just woken up and is sitting on my lap eating my slices of apple and cheddar while I type this with one hand. I'm loving her so hard right now.
Of course I know that Michael is more than capable of caring for our child and Mr. cool as a cucumber isn't worried about a thing, but while she loves both of us, she is definitely a momma's girl. Lately she's been saying "a little, tiny bit" for when she wants more of something, like, "a little, tiny bit of milk," or, "a little, tiny bit of cupcake batter." So, I think it's only fitting to say that when I leave today, my heart is going to break just "a little, tiny bit." Luckily, that tiny face will be here when I get back to mend it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

What she said...

In the house of the increasingly verbal (almost) two-year-old, the days are filled with hilarious comments, questions, and exclamations. Ella pretty much never stops talking or singing and I'm pretty sure she's had the alphabet song stuck in her head for going on three weeks. Every now and then she'll look up and scream out a few letters: "XYZ!", "LaMenoP!". She loves to ask what things are or who someone is and to repeat everything we say no matter how difficult. The cutest part is that everything she says goes up at the very end into this adorably high little question mark. Here are a few of my favorites from the weekend:

When asked what she wanted to eat as a snack she said, "Gorgonzola!"

As we left the diner this morning after breakfast she said, "See you later Diner."

After placing about six stickers on my face she began laughing and said, "You're a funny clown."

While reading The Wild Things last night, she saw the picture of the sea monster with the goatee and said, "Oh dinosaur needs a haircut."

While walking up the steps this afternoon she began counting, "Uno, dos, tres, quatro, cinco, seis." Spanish. The girl can count in Spanish.

While riding in her stroller around the block she looked up at me and said, "You're awesome, mommy."

Thanks bud. You're awesome, too.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wordlessish Wednesday

Text is unrelated to pics, but I just had to share. Today I had to take Ella to the doctor and when I told her we were going to see the doctor she said, "Dr. Seuss?" No, buddy, sorry. Not Dr. Seuss.

Enjoy a few pics of Ella "doing the dishes," also known as "Ella covering already clean dishes in soap."

Monday, March 5, 2012

Ode to Surreybrook

Here's my question for you: Am I the only one whose kid cries when it is time to leave daycare?

I'm not sure how much I've said about our daycare in the past, but essentially we love it. From the moment we first walked in when Ella was just a lump in my belly, we loved it. The bright colors, open floor plan, ample playground, everything. Sometimes you just know and when we walked into this place we just knew, ya know?

Six months later when I actually had to leave Ella there for the first time I was petrified. Not because I didn't think Ella would want to stay, but because I thought I might get back and find her teachers holding her in the parking lot with outstretched arms telling me to leave the premises and never come back. Up to that point, I'd been spending my days nursing and walking around the block for hours at a time. I knew her teachers wouldn't be able to do either of those things, so how would they get her to stop crying? Then we met the magical Miss Amanda and it was love at first sight. Somehow Amanda taught her how to take a nap (in a crib no less!) and learn how to enjoy life outside of someone's arms. They actually taught her how to be on a schedule and undid most of the bad habits I'd instilled.

These days she balances her time between the bumblebee and beetle rooms and regularly talks about Miss Shauna and Miss Marcia and how much she loves them. Cut to today when I went to pick her up. She was sitting gingerly at the table waiting for one of her teachers to pass out the foam dough. She gave me a quick glance and a "hi mom" before turning her attention back to what was really important. When given a choice between foam or mommy, this girl chooses foam. I tried to coax her gently, but she was having none of it. As I pulled her out of her chair she began to cry. Miss Meghan tried to appease her with a special treat, but to no avail. As I latched her unwilling body into her car seat, she just kept repeating "want Shauna, want Shauna." She didn't stop crying until we were halfway home and, I suppose, realized her protests were futile.

Once she got over the devastation, we had a lovely evening of tickling, chasing, laughing, and other silliness. I guess she realized that while I am no foam, I'm still pretty awesome.

So I guess thanks Surreybrook for making my kid so happy she wants nothing to do with me.