Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Glad we started with a puppy

Elsie has made HUGE milestones this last week when it comes to movement on her own. She's our little Leo the Late Bloomer (one of my favorite books) and as I've watched her learn to do her thing, I've realized that it's not me at all that is encouraging her to finally move. No matter how much I cheer. No matter how much I prod. No matter how much I push. No matter how much I beg. I can do anything under the sun but it's not me that got her to move. It's our dog.

As I've watched Sparky get Elsie to move (since I'm sure that was his goal) I've looked back and started to make mental note of how similar Elsie and Sparky are. Jeff bought me Sparky as a birthday gift in 2010. It was that movie scene scenario that every girl wants. Come home from work, husband has a gift behind his back, open it up and there is a sleeping puppy in the bag. Loved it! We didn't think we would be lucky enough to get pregnant right away, so we thought we would start with a puppy to get our feet wet with the whole parenting thing. People say it is similar, so we thought we'd give it a go. Now that we have Elsie, and we've experienced both we completely agree with the sentiment that puppies are great practice to having the baby. Here are the ways the two are similar:

1. Lack of sleep - When we got Sparky he was 5 weeks old and we wanted to crate train him. He woke up every 2 hours on the dot the first week and at least 4 times a night the second week and at least 2 times the next three. It felt like he was never going to sleep through the night! All I wanted was a good night's rest and Sparky had other plans.

Fast forward a year - Elsie. Need I say more on the lack of sleep? I thought I needed 8 hours of sleep to function. Nope, Elsie taught me I just need 4 solid hours. Luckily she was sleeping 6 hours straight at 4 weeks, and through the night at 8.
We did not pose this. Jeff put Elsie down and Sparky curled up next to her. He loved her from the beginning. Just wouldn't admit it.

2. Potty training - Sparky took a good solid 9 months to be completely potty trained. I hated cleaning up his accidents. But it was part of having a puppy. Teaching them how to go where appropriate.

Fast forward a year - Elsie obviously is still at least a year from being potty trained but oh how I love having the diapers. Never thought I'd be grateful for the diapers but after having a puppy, I'd much rather change the diaper than clean the carpet 5 times a day. However if Elsie takes 9 months to be completely potty trained I might cry.

Both Sparky and Elsie love to sit on my lap. It gets interesting as Elsie continues to grow and I am quickly running out of room for both. Doesn't mean Sparky won't try. 

3. Toys - Sparky loves to bring all his toys out at once and play with them, especially when I am trying to clean up. Because he is a dog I can't tell him to pick up so I am forced to.

Fast forward a year - Elsie loves toys and wants all of them at once. Her attention span can't last for more than 30 seconds before she is ready for something new. I  pick up after her every night when she goes to bed but the same mess happens every morning. At least it's a mess that hopefully someday she can help out with :)

Sparky wanting to play, Elsie thinking Sparky is crazy

4. Games - We taught Sparky how to play fetch and we use it to wear him out at night. Luckily he doesn't need it as much now, but it was a great lifesaver a year ago.

Fast forward a year - Elsie loves games - especially pass back. We hand her a toy, she hands it back. This will go on for easily 5 minutes. She tries to do it with people at church but they don't understand what she is doing so by the time I explain to them she has lost interest.

This was quite the common sight when I was nursing. Sparky wanted to play so he'd bring a sock for me to throw. Yes, his favorite toy is Jeff's sock. Not to destroy. Just to fetch.Weird dog, I know. 

5. Attention - Sparky loves attention. When we brought Elsie home we were told he will get jealous and we need to be careful. Lucky for us that was not the case. Elsie wasn't any fun for him so he left her alone. It wasn't until she was about 6 months and sitting up by herself that he started to pay attention to her. He ignored her but wanted all the attention on him when people came over to visit Elsie. He'd pounce all around just because he was excited someone new was over, didn't even phase him that Elsie was there all the time.

Fast forward a year - Elsie likes to see people that come over but takes a while to warm up to them. However when we have baby #2 (not for a long while) I can see Elsie loving a little sibling but wanting some attention for her as well.

Sparky has ruined many photos as he wants to try and be in them. This is not one he ruined, just one he decided to step in  

No I didn't put the boppy there. It was all Sparky experimenting with the baby stuff. This one was too funny not to post.  

I love having Sparky around as I figure the whole parenting thing out. He's helped Elsie out in ways I couldn't. Almost every night now I see Sparky and Elsie playing some sort of game together. Normally it is Sparky bringing a toy to Elsie and Elsie trying to grab the toy. This will go on for 10 minutes. Just the two of them. Sparky growling his happy growl and Elsie laughing hysterically. Or Sparky will have something across the room that Elsie wants, Elsie will crawl to him and laugh when he gets up and moves as he doesn't want to be bothered. Talk about having a best friend right from birth.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Definitely her father's daughter

Since day one, everyone (minus my mom) has commented about how Elsie is definitely my daughter as she looks just like me. As almost a year has passed, and I have seen her personality come out I've been able to see how she is a lot like her dad, which makes me very happy! I love Jeff and love knowing my daughter has some of his personality traits already.

Proof #1 - She loves the computer! She will sit and type on the keyboard (only dad's mind you, apparently the Mac isn't as nice to an 11 month old), move the mouse, touch the mic. She will throw a fit if you take her away before she is done. Sadly this is Jeff to a T!

Proof #2 - She can be a shy little lady and would rather stick to the people she knows best. Jeff is not a fan of being social and would rather just be around the few people he loves and cares for.

Proof #3 - She is a home body! While she is super fun to take out and about, she is way more enjoyable at home where she is familiar with everything. She laughs and giggles so much more when she is at home then when she is out. Jeff would rather spend all day everyday at home.

Proof #4 - She loves books! Elsie will sit through an entire book and just love to listen. We read a finger puppet book last night and she laughed at an appropriate time (although I'm sure it was purely coincidental, I like to think it wasn't). We read "The Hundred Dresses" over the course of the week and she sat intently through it all. Jeff has a huge collection of books, all of which he has read. Between the two of us we already fill 3 large bookshelves and we've only been married 2 years. We will need a personal library the size of a 2 car garage by the time we are married 20 years.

Proof #5 - Elsie is quite the determined young lady. If she wants something she will figure out a way to get it. Whether it be her little gymnastics scoot, her rolling to the general vicinity or screaming till she gets it (definitely not my favorite) she will find a way. The brilliant man that I married knows how to get what he wants. Nothing will or can stop him. I hope Elsie continues with this trait :)

Proof #6 - She is quite the laid back girl. She goes with the flow and just enjoys life as she knows it. If she gets mad, give her 10 seconds and she will figure out something else to make her happy. Very few things get under Jeff's skin, he rolls with the punches a good majority of the time.

Proof #7 - Elsie loves her mama! She would rather stay and cuddle with mom than anyone else. These last few months Elsie and I have become quite attached, watching her learn and grow has been wonderful! Jeff is rather attached to me I like to think :)

Proof #8 - While she hasn't always been this way, she sure has become quite the cuddler these last few months. Around 6 months Elsie decided she wanted to cuddle anytime she was tired. She only does it with mom (which makes Jeff a little (okay a lot) jealous) but she loves to lay her head on my shoulder, put her arm wrapped around my neck and lay there before she gets in the crib. I love it! Jeff has always been a huge cuddler. Any time and any where he wants to cuddle.

Proof #9 - We bought Elsie an infant keyboard a few months back and it has quickly become Elsie's favorite. She will scootch to anywhere to play it. She likes any and all music she can play with it. The other day she figured she could pull the jumperoo and it would make noise, then she could play the piano. When one stopped she'd start it up again. She loved being in control of all the noise. Jeff's wedding gift was a piano. It was the best gift I could have bought and it will always be something we cherish. Jeff is quite the piano player. I wish I had his talent but sure do love reaping the benefits of it!

Proof #10 - Elsie doesn't like to show off any of her skills unless she knows she has them mastered. She will do them at home but don't ask her in public as she won't do any of them unless she is perfect at it. Jeff is brilliant! And by brilliant I mean BRILLIANT! He has 2 computer screens, one to play his game with, one to read whatever he can find. Does he share any of that knowledge? Not unless he knows for sure that he is 100% right. If there is any doubt he won't share with anyone but me.

I'm so glad I married a wonderful man that has been such a great father to our daughter! Watching Elsie grow and seeing some of these traits come out in her has been so wonderful! Elsie and I are very blessed to have such an amazing man in our lives. Looking at these pictures of Jeff and Elsie reminds me of how much love I have for this amazing man. The moment Elsie was born and every day since my love for Jeff has grown more than I ever thought possible. I've been quite blessed to have a husband who stepped into the father role so easily. He has that nurturing sense built in and watching that blossom even more with our little girl is so amazing. I am so truly blessed to have him in my life.

Thanks for being the great dad and husband you are! I love you Jeff!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Which Pic is best?

We are finished with the helmet!! Woo hoo!! Elsie's little head did amazing and now is completely perfect! She had it for 3 month, but wore it full time for 2. I'd say she did amazing. The average time is 5 months. I'll take my 2!

So our orthotist, Mark, the guy who does the helmet stuff, asked if we would give him any cute pictures to possibly include in his brochure. Elsie was one of his favorites, always happy to see him, never cried at the appointments, giggled the whole time, I mean really, what's not to love! Anyway, I'm having a hard time trying to decide which pic to send him. So here are some of my faves, now you tell me! If you would leave me a comment I would greatly appreciate it! Thanks!











I know which ones are my favorites, but I am curious to see what others think.