I was 3 1/2 in this picture, splashing in a puddle outside my grandmother’s house.
Elly is 4 years old in this picture, splashing in a puddle outside a friend’s house.
Some things never change, like the joy of splashing in puddles.
It’s a ….
(Can you see the writing on my shirt? I bought it a half hour after the ultrasound!)
Dan and I are so excited!
His name has been set for months. (Oddly enough, we had no girl names picked out).
We are naming him after our maternal grandparents.
Despite measuring a little large, the due date of September 18th remains steadfast.
Elly is slightly disappointed that she will not have a baby sister. She was so hoping to name her Ariel. Yet, I think she will get over it.
It was the first warm day. Spring hadn’t even officially started.
Yet, Elly didn’t let that stop her.
She’s been begging to play in her sandbox, but I have been telling her that it was too cold.
I think she was half surprised and half thrilled when I answered the same question she has been asking for the past month with a Yes.
Oh, the joy of sand.
We have put up our Christmas trees.
Why yes, we do have multiple Christmas trees. 5 to be exact. Three are outside. Two are inside.
The artificial tree in our guest bedroom
The real Christmas tree in our living room
My first memory of picking out a Christmas tree was walking outside in our front yard and picking an evergreen tree. If Elly’s memory stretches back far enough, her first Christmas tree memory will be similar. The tree in our living room came from our backyard. Here is a shot of Elly when she was 2 years old standing in front of it. It was too big for the spot it was in and rather than just cut it down and throw it out, I thought we would get a little more life out of it by making it our Christmas tree.
Despite chopping it down, I still had a handful of evergreen trees to choose from when decorating.
I suppose I shouldn’t count the last tree, since it only has a single ornament on it. I am waiting for it to get a bit bigger before I start stringing lights on it. Until then, it can sport the Charlie Brown look.
The reason for so many trees: I just love Christmas trees. I love decorating them. I love looking at them. It is the best Christmas decoration. I would be happy if it were the only Christmas decoration we had.
Plus, by having more than one Christmas tree, I don’t care when the day after Christmas Dan is glaring at our real tree inside because it is now dry as a bone and dropping needles like mad. It can be tossed at will. I have 4 others to keep me company until the Wise Men Day.
Elly started a no school campaign earlier this year shortly after I informed her that she would go to preschool next year. Like most things, I assumed it was a phase and she would grow to love the idea of going to school and hanging out with other kids. Instead Elly has taken to pointing out at every opportunity, like when I mention how smart she is or what a great memory she has, that she knows everything already and thus does need to go to school.
Elly is 3.5 years old!
I expect a know-it-all attitude from a teenager, not from a toddler. What is going on?
Just yesterday, when we were playing with her magnetic map
(Thank you, Aunt Michelle and Uncle George. Awesome gift!)
and Elly pointed out Russia, China and the USA, she proceeded to tell me how bored she would be at school because she knew so much.
It doesn’t help that Dan mentioned that he too was bored in school. Although it does allow me to blame him. Truly, this is all his fault.
Suloman’s Dairy has been in business since 1971. So, how is it that we just found out about it? Even my neighbor who has lived here for 25 years, had never heard about it.
Thanks to the huge flock of ducks in the nearby pond, it is now our favorite place to get ice cream. They also sell milk and local produce.
Elly could care less. It is all about the ducks. Heck, Elly wouldn’t even touch her ice cream until she had fed the ducks.
By the time she got back to her ice cream, it resembled more of a milkshake than a cup of hard serve.
I know I have already told you about Elly’s fascination with bugs, but I don’t think Elly has had the chance to tell you.
That is a caterpillar crawling on her arm. It made the mistake of landing on my arm. I quickly transferred it to Elly who hugged it, petted it, tried to feed it and searched for its body parts, like legs and mouth.
Luckily for its sake, Elly accidentally dropped it on the ground so it escaped with its life.
The pill bug didn’t fare so well.
Many thanks to Aunt V for the bug catcher. It has seen a lot of mileage.
The best conversation was had between Elly and Rene.
Elly: “I found a worm!”
Rene: “Ewww. I don’t like worms”.
Elly, aghast: “Why don’t you like worms?”
Rene: “I don’t know. Why do you like worms?”
Shortly after Elly born, friends and family came round to see her and gush over her. Almost everyone asked how she slept and when I explained that she didn’t sleep well at all, they all bestowed me with a piece of advice and then assured me that she would sleep soundly in a few months.
I remember clearly wishing she would hurry up and turn 3 months old so she would magically sleep through the night like all the books I read promised.
If I knew then that the first time she would sleep through the night would be a few days after she turned 3 1/2, I might have curled up into a ball and refused to come out.
I was going to write that I would have cried, but I remember all too well crying. I cried because she wouldn’t sleep and surely that was my fault. I cried because she wouldn’t stay asleep at naps and I desperately needed sleep too. I cried because she woke up constantly throughout the night and I was exhausted.
Everybody told me that what I needed to do was leave her in her crib and let her cry it out. I just couldn’t. It made no sense to me. How could a child who couldn’t go an hour without nursing in the day magically sleep for 5 hours or more at night? Of course the real answer of why I couldn’t let her cry it out is because I couldn’t bear to hear her cry. No power on this earth could make me stand outside her bedroom door and listen to her cry. All I wanted to do was pick her up and hold her when she cried.
Instead I searched for an answer on how to get Elly to sleep better at night and at naps without crying. I bought a stack of books, namely the No-Cry series, but none helped. I pulled out the sound machine a friend had gotten us, I darkened the windows and I hummed nursery rhymes until I thought I was going to lose my mind. It all helped a little, but Elly still woke up 13 times in the night. Finally, I gave up trying to get Elly to sleep in her crib and I brought her to our bed. Angels sang me to sleep the night I did. Elly slept only a little bit better, but I felt like a million dollars because I had gotten more sleep in one night than I had in the past week. She slept in our bed until she turned 3. I have no regrets. Scratch that. I have but one regret; I regret that I didn’t bring her to our bed sooner.
After her 3rd birthday, I decided it was time to transition her to her room. Still unable to listen to her cry, I laid in bed with her each night until she fell asleep. There were nights she begged me to put her to bed in my room, but thankfully they were few. She eventually became used to the new routine. Now she loves her room and runs to jump into her bed. I still lay down with her each night, but it is a small price to pay for being able to sprawl out on my side of the bed when I turn in for the night.
Now, the light at the end of the tunnel is visible. Elly slept through the night in her bed for the first time ever. It likely won’t happen again tonight or even tomorrow night, but perhaps by Elly’s 4th birthday, she will stay in her bed and I will get to enjoy a full night’s sleep.
I turned 37 today, but the party started yesterday as all good birthday parties should.
Yesterday, Elly and I went to the Bug Fest at the Academy of Natural Sciences with my best friend and her 2 sons.
When she grew tired of the bugs, which took several hours, we went across the street to an awesome park with a huge fountain in the middle of it.
This morning, Elly helped me decorate my birthday cake.
It was a blueberry cake with cream cheese icing. I stole the recipe from Lofty Bites.
So, yeah, it was a great birthday weekend. I got to spend time with family, with great friends, with my 2 godsons, with Dan and with my sweet Elly. Thanks to all who made it so and to all who wished me a happy day.