I had posted a while ago about Ellis and her baby doll. I ﬁnally caught her in action with the camera. Today, she tried to give her baby a bottle with some water. Of course this made her baby all wet, so Ellis then requested a diaper for her doll. She can’t say diaper yet, but said “baby pee pee” and then pointed to the drawer with diapers. She then wanted to put her down for a nap in her crib and attempted what I can only call the world’s worst swaddle.
Aside from babysitting, Ellis enjoyed some nice long walks around the neighborhood this weekend. Yesterday, we strolled around Williamsburg, dined on delicious Vietnamese sandwiches, and played in McCarren Park. Ellis was completely fascinated with the dog run, which makes me look forward to a trip to the zoo. Today, we huffed it over to Long Island City. I just love the piers, waterfront and playground there. We had a lovely lunch with Henry at Cafe Henri (how appropriate) and thankfully Ellis went to bed early so I could enjoy the Red Carpet preshow for the Oscars.
Erik is flying to Holland on Wednesday to meet little Mauro. I am excited he’s making this special trip and am so happy for Marijke and Adriano.
Today was spent excitedly waiting for updates from Marijke and Adriano on the birth of their son. Just after midnight in Holland, Mauro was born! We can’t wait to see pictures, hear more details and meet our newest nephew!
Friday’s weather was a wonderful Spring preview. Erik and I took Ellis over to the Union Square Playground for a little fresh air. The entire city was out and smiling. A few people even pulled out the shorts and sandals, but it really wasn't that warm! After Friday, the weather remembered what month it was and turned crappy again. Saturday was the worst. We attempted to take one of casual weekend strolls around the neighborhood, but the wind nearly blew the stroller over. We’ve been taking it easy for the rest of the weekend and were planning a little day trip out to Jersey City for our Monday off. Sadly, Ellis came down with a fever last night, so we decided to keep her in for the day. I think this might be her 5th cold/virus of the season. Sigh. Another reason to look forward to spring.
Here are a few new photos, mostly around the house. Ellis enjoyed making milk art on the kitchen floor, petting the kitties and interning for Studio Vrielink. She was not so happy about the diaper rash she developed after wearing a different diaper from daycare. Thankfully it cleared up in a few days. Damn you Pampers Dry Max!
My baby has a baby! Well, not really, but I caught Ellis doing the most adorable thing with her baby doll. She was rocking her in her arms, burping her and “sssshhhhing” her to sleep. What a big girl. She must be excited about the coming arrival of her cousin in Holland! Her play and language have developed so much in the past month. She sort of calls the cats by name “Ma” (Max) and “My” (Meisje), says No and Nee, along with a handful of other words. My favorites are “cheese” and “shoes”. I can’t wait to see and hear what she’ll do next.
I am incredibly happy to report that (after ten very long months) Ellis is sleeping through the night again! When she was 2 months old, she would sleep twelve solid hours at night. We didn’t do anything special. We were just lucky, very, very lucky. But over the last year, friends comments had gone from “I can’t believe she’s sleeping through the night!” to “She’s still not sleeping through the night?”. Where did we go wrong? Around 6 months Ellis went through some big developmental leaps, combined with her ﬁrst cold and some teething. She started waking up during the night and I did what was easiest to get us all back to sleep: nurse. And I nursed and nursed and nursed at every waking. When it was once or twice during the night, I loved the extra time I was able to snuggle with her. When it was three, four or ﬁve times a night, I was just a total zombie the next day. I kept thinking that she would go back to sleeping through the night again, as she had done it before, but things were actually getting worse. And it always seemed like travel, colds and teething (she has 12 now!) kept us from making any real plans to help her. Friends had let their babies cry-it-out with great success but we were convinced Ellis would cry for hours, probably vomit or fall asleep while standing in her crib. It just sounded so cruel.
After a few rough weeks and a break in travel, we consulted this great book (thanks Simone!) learned all about positive and negative sleep associations and decided to start sleep training Ellis last Friday. We did a loving bedtime routine: bath, brush teeth, pajamas, nursing, books and songs, then put her in her crib for the night. Erik and I poured ourselves a drink and prepared for a rough time. He was checking on her every few minutes to comfort her, but we knew she had to fall asleep on her own in her crib if we wanted a change. To our surprise, after twenty minutes she was asleep! I was giddy with relief. She has cried longer in the car or when she’s having a little tantrum at home. Since that night, she’s been sleeping much longer stretches and when she does wake up and cry, she’ll almost always settle herself back to sleep in a few minutes. Tonight, I put her in her crib and she was asleep after less than two minutes of crying. Erik and I are shocked and we are all, ﬁnally, getting some decent rest. I really thought I would feel guilty for letting her cry, but I actually feel a guilty that we didn’t help her go to sleep on her own earlier.
Phew . . . more than I had planned to write. I guess the extra sleep has given me a little more energy to blog!
We are having a proper winter here in NY. Ellis has enjoyed her short walks to daycare in the snow. And her hair is almost long enough for a mini ponytail!