Monday, November 12, 2007

Holding on to Cuddle Time

I just spent the last 30 minutes walking around with my baby girl in the sling lulling her to sleep. She was tired, but of course, fighting sleep, so I pulled out the sling. As soon as I put her in, she curled up her little body and laid her head on my chest. I couldn’t help but relish these few moments of quiet cuddle time with my sweet little girl. Her eyes quickly grew heavy and I laid her on the bed sound asleep. Now that she’s walking and moving more, she doesn’t need as much of this time with me, and though I love watching her grow, I also miss those early days. When she was a baby, she barely spent any of her time away from me. She spent her waking hours playing with me, usually in my arms, and she spent her sleeping hours in the wrap or snuggly or sling. She would cry or only sleep a very short time if I put her down, so I kept her close. It felt so natural and instinctual to always have her near me, and I truly missed her when she was away from me. I loved spending all this time bonding and meeting her need for physical affection. Sure, sometimes it’s inconvenient to have to put her to sleep, but with all the running around we do and with all the independence she gains on a daily basis, I’d rather focus on how much I treasure these moments we spend together. Soon enough she won’t want me to put her to sleep, and this cuddle time will only be a memory. So, I’m glad to hold onto to it for a little longer…

Short-Baby Syndrome

Elle may be petite, but what she lacks in size, she certainly makes up for in aggression. Yes, I have that child, the one who is always in other kids’ faces. I’ve read all the books that say children this age are only interested in parallel play, but Elle is much more interested in other children. She doesn’t just want to play next to them; she wants to play with them (and sometimes that means grabbing their faces or pulling on their limbs). Elle loves music, so the other day, we took her to a sing-along outside Pottery Barn Kids. She, of course, wanted to run around with all the kids twice her size and dance (bounce up and down and spin in circles). I was trying my best to chase her and keep her from coming in direct contact with other kids, while at the same time letting her have fun, but at one point, she got away from me and went right up to a little girl, who looked about 4, and pushed the girl in the stomach (not hard, since she’s so little, but it was a push nonetheless). I quickly grabbed Elle and apologized to the little girl. She just stared at Elle with a look of complete disbelief. I’m sure she was shocked that this baby half her size would dare to even touch her. The girl just kept staring, so I apologized again and brought Elle back to where we were sitting. I am not a very aggressive or even super-outgoing person, so it still amazes me that my little girl can act this way. No matter how many times I explain “being gentle” to her, she seems to have a hard time getting the concept (and trust me, I explain it to her many, many times a day, since I watch a little boy who is only 7 months). I know she’s only 13 months, and it’s hard for her to understand, but I keep wondering if she will ever be more gentle to other kids, if I will ever be able to stand back and just let her play (rather than playing defense for the other kids in her path!). And I know that a lot of kids go through a similar stage; I think it just seems worse to me sometimes because usually Elle is only around babies who are younger than her. Kyle keeps telling me how great it is that she’s so tough (she rarely cries when she falls or gets hurt), and he just knows she’ll make a great point guard on the basketball team. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see (and keep reminding her and reminding and reminding her to “be gentle”). I don’t think the 4-year-old girl minded too much. After a few minutes, she marched right up to Elle, smiled at her, and pulled her shirt over her head again and again. In a few years, I’m sure I’ll have to work on that behavior too!

"My finger may be small, but I can still wrap my daddy around it"

When I was 6 months pregnant, my mom and I found a cute t-shirt with the above message at a shop in Moab, UT. I’m not a big shopper (I can count the number of clothing items I’ve bought Elle since she was born on one hand), but I knew Kyle would like it, so I gave it to him as part of his Father’s Day present. I suspected that, even though Kyle had lots of grand notions about being this strict father, having a baby girl would somewhat change his plans (we all know how dads are with their little girls!); I just didn’t know how quickly this would happen…A few weeks ago, Elle was having a particularly fussy evening, meaning she would only let me hold her and she didn’t want to be put down. After dinner, I decided to make some chocolate chip cookies, and since I was holding Elle, I had Kyle take them out of the oven. As soon as he got them onto a plate, Elle started to reach out for him to hold her. When he picked her up, she looked at the cookies, looked and him, and gave him the biggest smile, you know, the you-have-something-that-I-want-please-give-it-to-me-now smile. She already knows that if she wants dessert or something else that mommy won’t give her, she can go to daddy and get what she wants. So, what did Kyle do? He, of course, gave his little girl some of his cookie. When she was finished, she immediately reached back out for me. Smart girl! I just can’t wait to see how far this will go; I might have to start complaining if she asks for a nicer car than mine!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Here's a link to a new video of Elle. If you look in my list of videos, there should be some other new ones as well. Hope you enjoy!

Future Ballerina

Nana would be so proud!

Playing with her presents in her new outfit

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Opening presents

IMG_0535, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

She, of course, loved the paper more than anything.

Family Picture

IMG_0531, originally uploaded by ayandky7.


We lined up all the kids (except for one little girl who was only 3 months old and sleeping) to take a picture, and it was sooo cute!

Birthday Girl with her guests

Taking a ride in her wagon with Peyton

She loves the bubble machine

IMG_0510, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Clapping for the Bubbles

IMG_0508, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Birthday Excitement

IMG_0502, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

1st Birthday Party

IMG_0497, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

She loves her Daddy!

Party Girl

IMG_0459, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

I was also in a friend of mine's wedding, while in Augusta, and Elle went to both the rehearsal dinner and wedding with us. She loved it, especially the music!

1st Birthday Cake

IMG_0427, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Her Aunt Charity made her a special birthday cake, but she didn't really know what to do with it (you'll have to watch the video to see what I mean).

Birthday Celbration in Augusta

IMG_0397, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

We had a family birthday party for Elle in Augusta with the Mongans the week before her birthday, although she wasn't a big fan of her birthday crown!

Playing with her cousins, Hannah and Carly

IMG_0391, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Opening presents

IMG_0378, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Elle got some early birthday presents from Grandma Dawn, Aunt Lacey, and Grandpa Dean, including her very own wagon (and lots of UGA stuff too!).

First UGA Game

IMG_0350, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Elle tailgated with her Aunt Kaitlin and her boyfriend, her Grandpa Dean and Kyle's aunt and uncle, Brenda and David. UGA beat Western Carolina, so she saw her first UGA win!

Gooo Dawgs!

IMG_0369, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Elle enjoyed the band the most and started dancing every time they played.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Late again...

I know, I know...I'm late again. There are quite a bit of pictures, and there are some links to a few video clips on youtube at the bottom of this post. If you keep going to older posts, there are a few more videos if you haven't seen them. We hope everyone's doing well, and let us know how you're doing if you get the chance!

Here are the links:


Elle 9-10 065, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Doesn't she look so old?


Elle 9-10 060, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

She gets so excited that she has to let go and clap!

Playing with Friends

Elle 9-10 059, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Playing at the Pool

Elle 9-10 052, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

I don't know why she loves this but hates the bath; maybe we need to get a fountain for our bathtub!

Breakfast time

Elle 9-10 047, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

I know; we had way too many highchair pics this month.

I'm so cool!

Elle 9-10 039, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Music Time

Elle 9-10 032, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

She loves to shake the maracas.

Before the babysitter...

Elle 9-10 022, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

She's all smiles now!

In other news...

Elle 9-10 015, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

I got a new car, which is very important to Elle's life, since she no longer has to be shoved into the back of my 2-door Civic.

Avocado Face

Elle 9-10 007, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

She's covered in her favorite food, since she loves to rub it all over her hair and face.

Popsicle Love

IMG_4290, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

I tried to take a video, but it was too dark.

Hanging out on the Swing

IMG_4285, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

She LOVES to swing and cries every time I take her out.

Walking--Sort of

IMG_4255, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

This is her push toy--we think she's looks like an old lady pushing a grocery cart.

Helping Daddy Grill

IMG_4252, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

And another bow--so exciting!

A Rare Bow-Occasion

IMG_4249, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

I can never get her to keep a bow in her hair, so I love this picture!

10 Months Old and Loving it!

What a fun month this has been! Elle is so mobile now, and she’s becoming more and more independent. She was obsessed with walking for a long time and loved cruising around with her push toy. She would walk up and down the living/dining room all day long if I let her, and she’s even taken her first few steps this month. The few times she’s done it, she lets go of the coffee table for a few seconds, then takes a couple of steps and either grabs onto something or falls down. But, at some point, she realized that if she just lets go of the push toy, table or whatever and crawls then she can go wherever she wants and get there a lot faster. So, her current obsession is crawling and she loves to crawl around the whole downstairs most of the day, usually panting like a dog as she goes, especially if she’s trying to crawl fast. She loves it when we join her on the floor and chase after her or hide behind things and jump out to surprise her. It’s so much fun to watch her get soo excited and squeal in anticipation of you jumping out.
She’s understanding a lot more of what we say and has even started to say a few words, although we can’t always get her to say them on command. She has a baby doll that we’ve been encouraging her to play with as a distraction from Sam (the 5-month-old boy that I watch during the week), so she’s started saying “baby,” and she loves to play “gently” with the doll. And by that I mean that she loves to body slam it on the ground and bite its head and jump on top of it. She’s really learning a lot from my lessons on being “gentle” to other babies. She also says “bye-bye” to Sam and his mom, Tracy, when they leave for the day and she waves backwards (again, we can’t get her to do this every time). She still says “dada” and LOVES to play with my phone and look at his picture, since he’s the background. She’ll open it up and say “dada”, then close it and open it again and say “dada”. She finally really started saying “mama” this month, and it’s soo sweet, although she still has some major separation anxiety issues. We left her with a babysitter recently, and we told the babysitter to call if she was crying and wouldn’t settle down. So, after less than two hours, the babysitter called and said we should probably come home. Apparently, Elle had been crying basically the entire time we were gone, not top-of-the-lungs screaming, but crying and whimpering the whole two hours. The babysitter tried taking her next door to play with Peyton, who is the same age, but she said Elle would just crawl away from him and towards the door. Then, she’d sit at the window near the door and say, “mama, mama, mama”. She said she tried everything she could think of to make her happy, but it didn’t work, and she did this same thing at home too. Talk about making me feel guilty! It seems Elle’s only other “friend” besides Kyle and I is Sam’s mother, Tracy. She gets excited to see Tracy every day when she picks up Sam, and even played at Tracy’s house without us for a whole two hours without crying. We keep telling Tracy that if we ever have to go somewhere important, we’re going to hire her as our babysitter. She has also started to hear the word “no” this month, although she thinks it’s funny. We tell her “no” when she goes to touch the TV, since it’s one of the only things she can’t touch downstairs, and she turns around to look at us and of course continues to touch it. So, we walk over and move her away from it to play with something else, and she just laughs and crawls right back towards the TV. What a fun game for her!
Other than walking and talking, Elle is still a picky eater, preferring avocados, green beans, popsicles, and all forms of carbs (mashed potatoes, grits, stuffing, etc.) over most anything else. She doesn’t really like fruit, although I can usually get her to eat some bananas, and she still loves to nurse (so, I know weaning is going to be really hard!). She’s still plays kind of rough with other babies, and I’m not sure why. She tries to get on top of them and pushes them over and grabs at faces. I guess we need to wait a while to give her a brother or sister! She now has 5, almost 6, teeth and has been biting on everything recently. She even tried to bite the tile floor the other day and constantly tries to bite the couch and my arm. She’s just so desperate for her teeth to break through. She also loves to clap and will do so anytime someone says “yay” or if she hears people clapping on TV. Whenever she says a word, like “baby”, I always tell her “good job” and she usually claps for herself. She often lets go of the table or whatever she’s using to help herself stand so she can clap. She also loves to try and copy anything we do, so she clicks her tongue (see the video) and does some other tricks in her attempts to mimic us.
We’ve been trying to take more videos of her, since we didn’t think to do that in the beginning, and especially since we got a new camera that takes better videos. So, I’ll be posting those periodically.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Sorry for the delay...

There are a lot of pictures because it's been so long since I posted, and you'll have to keep clicking on the link for older posts to get to the rest of them and to the journal entry for the past two months. Of course, there are still more pictures, and feel free to use the link below if you would like to see the rest. There are some of just my family and not only Elle, since we saw them twice during the past month or so. Hope you enjoy, and send us your updates when you get a chance!

Smiling after Church

IMG_4224, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Her hair has gotten really crazy lately, so it sticks up in some direction most of the time!

Gooo Dawgs!

IMG_4219, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

We're already trying to teach her the cheers.

Being Silly

IMG_4095, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

The sticker certainly does not fit!

Honoring a Great-Grandfather

IMG_4085, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

We took this in front of the Korean War Memorial in honor of my grandfather who passed away.

In the Capitol

IMG_4086, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Kyle and Elle with a statue of the Father of Anesthesia (who happens to be from GA)

Nana and Papa

IMG_4177, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

My parents with their 5 grandchildren, Corbin, Bella, Carter, Grant, and Elle

Discovering Sand

IMG_4189, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

She actually loved the sand and tried to eat it the whole time we were there!

All Blue

IMG_4185, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

We attempted to take our Mongan family picture, but it didn't turn out so well, but here's our Young family photo.

Sizing up to Grant

IMG_4141, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Everyone kept saying that Grant was bigger than Elle, even though he's 5 months younger. What do you think? Oh, and she's sporting her baby mohawk, her beach hairstyle of choice.

Playing in the Pool

IMG_4115, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

She didn't like the pool quite as much, but definitely liked being with Daddy more than Mommy, since Mommy's no fun!

Family Picture

IMG_4111, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

Beach Baby

IMG_4103, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

This was her first time on the beach, and she loved it!

At the pool with Nana

IMG_4069, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

We took this one really quickly, so she wouldn't start screaming!

Pretty in Pink

IMG_4048, originally uploaded by ayandky7.

All dressed up for Grant's baptism (my godchild!); however she screamed the entire ceremony--thanks, Aunt Julie, for taking good care of her in the cry room, even if she wouldn't calm down!