Natalia had her two month checkup today. I decided not to bother finding a babysitter for Sonja (unlikely anyway) and took them both. I realized I needed to confront my fears of Sonja throwing tantrums in public. She still avoids the baby and throws fits when Natalia cries, although not as bad as before. I wisely packed my laptop and an Elmo DVD. That was a lifesaver, although extremely heavy with all my other crap.
Natalia was an angel. She let the doctor poke and prod and she actually smiled at me when he looked in her ears, although you could tell she was uncomfortable. She screamed at her shots. Her scream sounds like a grown woman's. It's really odd. But she started smiling again a minute later. She just refuses to be buzz-killed.
But the oddest thing was her weight. She is 15.3 lbs. The nurses said they had never seen a two-month old that big. One thought she was 6 months. And to quote the doctor when he took off her diaper and saw the 5 rolls of fat on each leg: "Wow. Yeah, she's big!" Yikes. Sorry Natalia if I'm feeding you too much! She is totally out of her size 1 diapers and I have an entire case left!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
So I know some people wanted some comparison shots between the two girls. I tried to find some that were similar in pose, but really I must have been shooting them from different angles for some reason. I may try to pose Natalia exactly like one of Sonja's at a later time, but for now, here's what I have. Enjoy.
Posted by Scott at 11:36 PM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
My sister came to help last week and it was so helpful. Our floors were damaged beyond repair when our whole apartment flooded in the middle of the night 10 days after Natalia was born. (I didn't blog about it because I felt my blog was getting too Debbie Downer. Luckily no permanent damage and no one got electrocuted!) On the bright side, our crappy floor which was my least favorite thing about the apartment got replaced with gorgeous hardwood. So my sister helped get us out of the apartment every day for a week while the guys worked. Here are some pics of our topsy-turvy week with furniture everywhere:
Andrea gets a taste of parenting. Thanks babe for coming!
We got to spend some girly time watching the new Sense and Sensibility (better than the previous, in my opinion) and going out to breakfast with the babes.
So after Andrea left, Scott had a day off (yay!), so we went to Navy Pier and the Children's Museum. I had no idea how fun Navy Pier was. Ferris Wheels, Dippin' Dots, boat tours, gorgeous Lake Michigan, etc. Anyway, the library has free passes to different museums and our friend just happened to have the Children's Museum pass and handed it over to me to check out. Here is Sonja admiring the view, getting soaking wet, Natalia chilling, and other cute things. Notice Sonja's rat tail is gone. I just chopped it off when she was in the bath and it turned out all cute!:
Then it was our friend Jeff's birthday and they had a little party. We are so glad our NY friends moved to Chicago, even if it was just for a year. In a testament to their awesome sociableness, they've only been here a few weeks and already had a bunch of people over. I played Dance Dance Revolution for the first time there and loved it. Sonja was dancing all over the place and clapping, so I think we're going to get a generic version to get me back in shape and entertain Sonja during the dreary winter. It's cheaper and more fun than a treadmill and I seriously think it was an answer to my prayers about Sonja and I going stir-crazy.
Posted by Ellen at 12:59 AM
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
So Sonja and I decided to reenact our favorite scene from "The Miracle Worker." As you may know, she doesn't talk. It almost seems out of stubbornness. But today I let her practice drinking water out of my big girl glass. She drank some and said in perfect English, "Water." I freaked out: "Yes, water, Sonja! Good girl! Can you say it again? Water!" She said it again and at that point I realized this had been done much better by Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke. And Sonja's not deaf, so it's not as miraculous, but it's exciting to me!
Also, Sonja's tantrums when Natalia cries are dropping dramatically. Now it's just whining or general crying for a few minutes. And on Sunday, out of the blue, Sonja came over to the baby and kissed her twice, then looked at me for approval. I was in shock! She has gone back to ignoring her, but this is progress!
Posted by Ellen at 1:18 AM
Friday, September 12, 2008
So Sonja got this little faux-laptop toy for ... her sister's birthday I guess, from Ellen's mom, and immediately took a liking to it. At first she didn't know even how to turn it on, but once she did, it was a whole lot of fun: every time you turn it on, it goes "Hi there! Let's play! Choose an activity!" and then when you push the same button to turn it off, it goes "Bye-bye!" and has a little monkey flipping around on its screen. That's all she did for about two weeks. "Hi there! Let's play! Choose an activity! Bye-bye! Hi there, let's play! Choose an ac... bye-bye! Hi ther... bye bye!" We tried to have her play it in another room, but eventually decided on maybe teaching her the games on it.
There are about 30 different ones, and they range from picking a letter, to identifying right and left, picking the "one that doesn't belong" and so forth. The "choose the uppercase letter ... " proved to be the favorite, but the only one she could get was "A." And then only sometimes.
See, Sonja has known 'A' and 'S' for about 9 months now. She picked them up quickly after about a year old, could identify them (The 'A' train in NYC for example), and then just stopped learning new ones. She was done learning, satisfied with 2 letters I guess. Any attempt to teach her new ones was pointless. She eventually picked up on "O" about 4 months ago maybe. But then Elmo came along. He has a little alphabet game on the Sesame Street site where you just press a letter and he says it along with something that starts with that letter. I=ice, D=drum, etc. Numbers also work, where he counts out various objects. She usually just pounds the keyboard, and because she can't reach that far, gets a lot of zippers, violins, bells, and nets. Oh, he also just laughs if you hit the space bar. I have a video from August 2nd where she is just pounding the space bar and some other lower keys over and over.
Then, I think like the next day or something, just out of the blue, she stopped all that pounding (which she had done for 5 months or so) and started picking and choosing letters she wanted him to say. She would actually stick out her index finger and it looks like she was searching out specific letters, going up even to the numbers. I couldn't see any pattern to it, but it seemed like she had something in mind. So we just let her do this for hours. I also found another, non-Elmo one here (the keyboard option). She liked that one too.
Little by little, I started noticing some difference in how much attention she payed to that faux-laptop "find the uppercase letter" monkey game. She wasn't really getting many right, but she seemed like she wanted to; if she got it wrong she would grab my hand and so I would guide her to the right one. And then one day about two weeks ago, she was getting all of them. It was kind of sudden, so I made a video. As you can see, she only gets them wrong when she tries to predict the next one before it even shows up.
Posted by Scott at 6:59 PM
Friday, September 05, 2008
So I just had to comment on the McCain VP pick because of Smash's hilarious blog post. Full disclosure: I am an independent and not registered as either Dem or Rep. I will probably vote for Obama (like it will matter - it's not a swing state and he lives two blocks from me), but I wouldn't be too upset if McCain won. He's not a friend of Bush's, at least. Anyway, the whole Sarah Palin thing is so funny to me. People are debating whether it's a political move - OF COURSE it is. Do you think McCain's staff prayed and fasted about it or something? He doesn't even know her. She's a younger woman (to try to make McCain seem more hip and a glass-ceiling breaker) and she has a similar "maverick" philosophy. People are making fun of her, but I actually think she's got that "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" idealism thing going on where she's not a Washington insider, so all the corruption and backroom deals may actually disgust her, rather than her being the instigator of them. (Note: I said, "MAY disgust her"). We'll see.
But what disgusts ME, as always, are the talking heads who are paid to put a spin on things to further the interests of their own party. I can't believe people listen to Bill O'Reilly or Hannity and Colmes and actually nod their head like those guys have a set of principles. The principles they argue for are whatever is expedient at the moment. And don't get me started on Karl Rove (growing rich and fat off the Iraq War and subsequent book deals). And I'm going to steal this video clip from Smash also because it shows a big reason why I refuse to align myself with either of these parties of stinking cesspoolness. I love "The Daily Show." It's very biased, but its true genius comes from showing the hypocrisy in political media coverage, as follows:
Posted by Ellen at 11:25 PM
This was a couple weeks ago, but here are pictures from Natalia's blessing. Sonja had a royal tantrum starting right at the beginning of sacrament meeting and I was out in the hall in tears with her because she would NOT calm down, even for juice, and I thought I would miss the blessing. My sister luckily was looking back at the door so she could see me gesturing to come out. But then our nursery leader saw our plight and came out to watch her so we could listen in peace. Anticipating needs like that is one of the qualities I most admire and I am trying to develop more!
We couldn't get a picture with everyone because of more tantrums (seriously Sonja, don't you get that we can go out and have more fun if you DON'T do that?) She is so illogical :) And I look horrendous, but c'est la vie.
I always think it's hilarious when a little girl's prissy outfit belies her monkey-like tendencies. And Scott looks like he's modeling. Love the suit, babe!
Here is our singing angel. She has a horrible case of baby acne in this photo, so we had to use flattering lighting. Poor sweetie!
Moments of peace. Notice her habit of sticking her finger in the ribbon around her Lambie's neck? Stay tuned for a fun post about that later, entitled, "Worst Mother Ever."
And here is a current one of Tiny Talia. She is over 12 lbs - her huge cheeks tell the story (don't worry, I'll post more in a bit):
Posted by Ellen at 12:49 AM
So, to catch up...things are going crazy enough that I have eaten some humble pie and asked for help. My sister Andrea is coming out again (she was just here passing through on her move to Rochester) to help out for a week. Then my mom will probably come out again later. The normal me would be embarrassed, but the current me is so giddy at the thought of help that I can't contain myself. I could actually take Sonja out to the zoo or something. Or the Museum of Science and Industry, which is 5 minutes away and has lots of kid-friendly stuff to do. It's free weekdays all September, and we went today on Scott's day off. There were the expected number of tantrums and there was torrential rain, so we got kind of wet (we refused to pay $14 for parking when there is parking just a few blocks away on the street). But I think the Sonster had fun. She likes getting wet, as evidenced by some of the pictures (and she kept baptizing that dog she is holding - it was pretty cute).
Posted by Ellen at 12:25 AM