I’ve been meaning to update the blog for over two weeks. Our days are flying by and there never seems to be enough time in the evenings to do everything that I want to do. Fall is officially here and we have enjoyed some wonderful outings to celebrate the change of seasons. The other weekend, we had the pleasure of joining Sara for a New Jersey day trip to meet baby Théo, visit Rachel and Fabien, and celebrate Sara’s 30th Birthday with her family in Long Valley. We even fit in a little apple picking! We couldn’t have asked for better weather. Théo is adorable and growing so fast. I always love seeing the weekly updates on their blog, but meeting him in person was even better.

It’s a funny thing that I am learning about being a parent, you always look at the older children and think “I can’t wait for Ellis to...talk, sing, ride a bike, etc.” but then you see a younger baby and suddenly think “That was such a sweet time, when she was content to only be in my arms and didn’t get into everything around the house.” Every stage is special and memorable for different reasons. Instead of thinking too much about what’s ahead or behind us, I should really just savor the phase that Ellis is in right now, because it can really change from day to day. This week she is in the string of babbling, confidently cruising, testing her boundaries with mini-tantrums, and learning to feed herself with a fork phase.

This past weekend I volunteered to do a little clean-up and bulb planting in our neighborhood park. I was excited to get my hands in the dirt again. When Erik brought Ellis to the park, he also got inspired to do a little gardening and went ‘all Dutch’ on the flower beds. We are already looking forward to seeing our handy work in the Spring.

There is a lot to celebrate this month. Ellen gave birth to a beautiful daughter Minna earlier this month in Paris. Congratulations! Roman also turned one this week. I can’t believe a year has already gone by. Ellis went on a little stroller date with him to watch the floating pumpkins in Central Park.


Red Bulls, dressing up and more dexterity

Last weekend, Ellis and I made Erik very happy by coming along to a New York Red Bulls game. The match against Real Salt Lake ended in a draw, but we still had a great time. Ellis loved clapping along with the supporters and banging her hands on the chairs.

I've been so amazed lately at how differently Ellis is playing. She loves to open my closet drawers, pull out clothes and attempt to try them on. She managed to get my bikini over her head tonight and looked so proud. She is having fun drawing with crayons and painting with a brush (with just a little paint in her mouth). She has rediscovered spoon feeding and her bumbo chair, only now she wants to hold the spoon herself and climb into her chair. She also figured out her wooden stacking rings this week. After months of throwing the rings around and putting them into her mouth, she carefully placed them onto the stick in a moment of intense concentration followed by a very big smile. Such exciting changes!


Steps...not the walking kind

Ellis’ latest, greatest joy in life is crawling over to the porch door in the kitchen, climbing the two little steps, turning herself around, and kicking her legs in delight. She loves to feel the outdoor breeze, lean her back on the screen door and take in the view of the kitchen from a slightly higher elevation. She also seems to love her new shoes. We went over to Ibiza Kidz after work this week and found Ellis this adorable pair of Robeez Mini Shoez (not sure what’s with all of the Zs instead of Ss...poor kids are going to be so confused!) The sales lady helped us find the right pair and explained what kind of fit and material we should look for in a toddler shoe. Ellis doesn’t try to pull them off of her feet and seems to enjoy the sound of the soft rubber sole as she cruises along. I took them off when we got home this evening and she even tried to put them back on!


One and a week

This week was relatively quiet. Ellis had a rough night or two when her sixth tooth popped through, but is already feeling better. I think there is a direct correlation between the number of night wakings and the number of cups of coffee Erik and I drink the next day.

Since Ellis is drinking more and more cow’s milk and since she is now one, I decided it was a good time to stop nursing her at daycare. For eight months I was making two daily trips to visit and feed her and then for the last month we were down to one pre-nap feeding around noon. Being able to visit her during the day has been so special. I have really gotten to know her two teachers and have enjoyed watching the other babies in her class grow from small infants to babbling toddlers. I never really missed her, since I was so busy working and then running over to feed her and then working and running over to feed her. Nearly all of my lunches were at my desk and I was often scrambling if I needed to run any daytime errands.

This was our first full week without nursing visits. Ellis did great, maybe even napped a little longer, and I felt more productive at work and was able to enjoy a few lunches with friends I haven’t seen in a while and even a lunch date with Erik. We are still enjoying the ease and bond of night and morning nursing at home and I hope to continue though the winter cold/flu season for a little extra immunity.

As we offer her more and more solid foods, I realized it was unfair to not let her try certain healthy foods just because I didn’t like them. Case in point: cottage cheese. I bit the bullet, bought some and she loves it. I even gave it another try and was surprised to realize it wasn’t so bad. Some other foods I should let her try (and I should give another try): olives, pickles, and blue cheese.