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Showing posts with label Elsie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elsie. Show all posts

Elsie turns two!

Saturday Elsie turned two. It was two years ago that my delivery doctor said "it's a girl!" and I let out a sob-cry of happiness like I'd never sob-cried before. This girl overtook my heart in an instant.

This past week I hemmed and hawed over what to do for Elsie's birthday. I was sick with a cold, not feeling like a party planner. And as my mom, sister Annika and sis-in-law Lisa will tell you, I changed the party plans every single day. Every other day we were going to a splash pad. The days in between we would celebrate here at our place.

In the end, we had the party here. And without planning it, the party became a garden party. Picking food from the garden, getting it ready to eat for the birthday lunch.

Sonna found the carrots and decided to pick some of them. Rory commented that he probably would have given them a few more weeks, but since Sonna had them proudly in her hand, this was a great day to pick a few. :)

Josie, Mara and Sonna picked sweet peas and then shelled all of them! We cooked them for lunch and they were delicious. At one point all of the kids were shelling peas together. Lisa told me, "there's your party game!"

Jack is 17 and he is awesome. When he saw the eggs in the coop he asked permission to go fry them up. I think this is what happens when you're a 17-year-old growing guy. You see protein and you just have to eat it. Like right now. I was so happy he was so excited to eat our eggs!

And then there's Zina. Zina brought a box of bee keeping gear that her husband had used decades ago...including this hat! (I'll write more about that another day.) Zina saw the flowers on our pumpkins and got so excited to fry them up. She went to work in the kitchen and I'm here to say that I would eat a plate full of these fried pumpkin flowers any day. The flower is sort of sweet and soft. Can't explain it, but they were awesome. And Zina was so, so happy to be making them. She went back for more flowers after her first batch. What a joy!

Mostly this party was awesome because it was so good to be together. I think this shot of my mom and sister sums that up nicely. And this picture has been added as one of my favorite pics of all time. We'll get this one framed asap.

And then there is Kyle and Lisa. Lisa biked here for the party. No kidding. Probably thirty miles. She made it to the outside of town and then called her pit crew to drive her in for the last bit. But if it hadn't been so windy she would have pulled up our lane on her bicycle!

Love this family shot. And especially love that my brother will be here in a few weeks so we can get him in the next family shot!

We had another wiener roast and mom made her chicken salad. And mostly we ate from the garden: lettuce, cucumbers, carrots, peas, pumpkin flowers and two tiny yellow tomatoes.

We wrapped up with cupcakes and presents and got to enjoy the sweetness of Elsie. She seemed so glad and grateful. I don't know how to explain it. She just seemed so happy to be celebrated. She was delightful. It was a super special second birthday.

Elsie and Ido


+Elsie calls Ivar, "I do." One day she'll speak those words at her wedding. Until then, she uses them first thing when she wakes up, standing in her crib with her wrist twisted, palm up, shoulder scrunched "I do?"

+The kids play together all the time. It's a noticeable shift in their relationship. They mostly wrestle and roll on top of each other. It lasts long enough, until someone starts crying. (Not always Elsie...)  

+Elsie wakes up before Ivar during their afternoon nap. We'll play downstairs, but if I'm not watching her she will sneak upstairs, push his door open and poke him in his bed. This does not go over well with Ivar. Or with his mom. If I catch Elsie sneaking up the stairs, she will laugh and squeal, totally busted and then look at me very seriously as I carry her back down the stairs saying, "no. no. no. no. no."

+Ivar and I made up a new favorite game this week. It's called, "Ah! Company is coming!" During this game, I race around a chosen room trying to clean it as fast as possible. There is no company coming, but it's a pretty great mind game for me. Ivar loves how spazzy I become and runs around telling me, "Mom! The company is coming!" And then I scream and yell that I've got to hurry! 

+Along those lines, often when I go to pick up the living room and sunny room, I wish I had a rake to gather all the randomness that is strewn on the carpet into one big pile. I'd call it The Toy Rake or The Knee Saver.

 +Our kids are a blast. And the days seem to be going smoother. I recently told Rory, "What if we end up loving them being so close together?!!" (So far it has been trying and hairy and we'd space our next kids more than 20 months apart next time around.) But they're becoming play friends (which was the hope and plan from the beginning. The 20 months were intentional.) It's a joy to watch them play and wrestle and snuggle.

...and a joy to tuck them in for the night so that mama can have her alone time.

Dear Elsie, almost 17 months

Dear Elsie,
You are almost 17 months old. That is amazing and awesome. You are so full of life, so full of passion and so determined. Not a day goes by when your daddy and I don't comment, "She's really fun" or "She's so sweet, isn't she?" You amaze us and surprise us.

I'm not sure what we were expecting...probably another little Ivar. But you are completely your own and I love getting to know you.

You are messy. Food ends up everywhere on you and you don't seem to mind. But this pairs well with your love of baths. You also have a real joy for toothbrushes. Most of the day you will have a tooth brush in your mouth or in your hand. If anyone is in the bathroom, you come begging. Your stocking this year will be full of tooth brushes, and I can't wait to see your reaction.

You don't let me put you down until you are ready. Your little legs clench my waist and if I dare peel you off of me you let me have it. Your scream is angry and your feelings are so sad. There's a real hint of drama in you, Elsie. I'm sure we'll see more of that as the years go on.

You have just a few words: Baba, Mama, Dada, Lolo (lotion, for your itchy, sensitive skin), Daydo Daydo (kitty, chicken, animal...) and my personal favorite: Crakah (which can either mean cracker and tractor).

Going outside is your very favorite thing to do. You get very excited when we start to bundle up and helpfully bring your shoes and jacket to me. Once outside you visit the cats and talk and laugh with them, and then visit the chickens. Even in this terrible cold you insist on being outside and protest with sadness when it is time to come back inside.

You love your brother, and lately have been taking the lead in finding things to do. He watches you, and no matter what you are playing with, you make it look fun. So he wants it too. You are the one who pulled out all of the canned goods to play with. You are the one who figured out how to climb onto the kitchen table with no assistance.You are the one who waddled into the living room with the bread knife you found in the open dishwasher. You have no trouble finding things to do...

When you wake up in the morning we will hear you jumping in your crib, hanging onto the crib you jump as high as you can. And it is impressively high. Eventually you tucker out and start to call for us. But listening to your squeaky mattress crib aerobics in the baby monitor makes us laugh every time.

We love you so much, Elsie. Love your smile. Love your spirit. Love your strong sense of self.
I am so glad you are mine.

Elsie is 9 months old

Oh Elsie. I love you so much. You are a happy girl. Your personality is showing itself more and more. You started talking a lot more and you like to scream and screech. It is obvious you are proud that you can be loud. You talk in your crib for a long time before we come to get you, practicing your sounds. You now can crawl and sort of inch worm your body around the house. You are fast, and gates had to go up immediately once you learned you could move.

You smile a lot and often scrunch your nose and eyes when you're really happy. That's my favorite, because then we get to see all of your teeth. (all 4.5 of them.)

You say, "Mama" clear as a bell and I love it. You can pretty much get me to meet any of your needs with that magical word. It stops me in my tracks.

You do fine in the nursery at church, and fine when others hold you. But if you sniff out that I am about to leave you, you can get quite nervous. As in a big lower lip and crocodile tears ready to pour out. That's okay. I know we're good pals and it's hard to be apart.

You are a tremendous eater and love taking a bottle. I like giving you your bottle because we just stare at each other and smile. You put your fingers in my mouth and scratch my cheeks. When you're ready for sleep you are happy to be set in your crib. Your bear from Ruby and pink blanket from Mimi are your favorite things to snuggle with in your crib. 

When you're out of your crib you adore your baby doll and the monkey Katherine gave you. Both make you shriek with delight. 

Elsie, you are sunshine to me.
I am so pleased I get to be your mama.
And overwhelmingly grateful that you are my girl.
Mama ma mama

Elsie's smile

I have been trying to capture it for weeks. And in an awesome twist, my beloved neighbor girls got the Very Happy Elsie Smile caught on camera while babysitting.

Oh Elsie, you are such a joy. (And clearly you love your babysitters!)

an elsie fashion show: one month old

I am very late in posting these pictures...three months late, actually. Josie, the wardrobe director on this photo shoot, has been patiently waiting for this post ever since we took the pictures. We took SO MANY pictures that day I was just overwhelmed picking my favorites. But since Elsie just made the jump into 9 month clothes, and this was a photoshoot of her wearing my favorite newborn and 0-3 month outfits, I thought I had better get these pictures up. (That pink bonnet above was mine when I was Elsie's age!)
Josie is a favorite around these parts. Most often referred to as "Osie!" she is well loved and even had the patience to teach Ivar how to play hide-and-seek...which consisted of a lot of lessons on how to keep our eyes closed and not follow the person hiding.

This first dress came from Hawaii from Mimi. I'm pretty sure Elsie is saying in this picture, "Let's go to Waikiki, Mimi."


Now, if you'll excuse me, I am going to go and put another blanket on Elsie. Given the wind outside my window right now, it just doesn't look like she is wearing enough clothes in these pictures!

photo shoot


We have neighbor girls who come over once or twice a week right after school and ask if they can play with my kids. Can you play with my kids? Let's see. It's 4:15, I have no idea what we're going to have for supper, Ivar is cranky, Elsie wants attention and I still need to unload and load the dishwasher. Yes, you can play with my kids!


Sometimes they bring their horses. Which is basically like hiring a petting zoo to come and hang out in the front yard for a while. Today they asked politely, "can we dress Elsie up in different outfits for a photo shoot?" And since I basically invented that game, that's what we did. But we only made it through two outfits before Elsie informed us that she was done. Models can be so temperamental.

**Stay tuned for Elsie's first photo shoot from the end of August with her cousin Josie. We got through lots of newborn outfits that day. And now she's in six month clothes!