Monday, January 26, 2009

Ella at 18 and 19 months

Ella had her 18-month check-up in early January, and it went very well.

Weight: 24.5 pounds (50%)
Height: 32" (55%)
Head circumference: 90%
(Percentiles show where Ella is ranked relative to a large sample of children her age.)

She's adding new words to her vocabulary (car, please), learning how to use the phone (when she hears someone answer their end of the phone, she'll say "hi"), and is just starting to put words together to make phrases like "one more" and "please up". She makes the corresponding animal sound when we say "cow", "dog", "cat", "snake" and "lion".

She enjoys dressing up, and her grandmother Moira, sent her a darling fairy costume for Christmas. You can see it in action here:
Ella in Fairy Costume from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

Shown below is a picture of Ella and Oona in princess and fairy costumes, respectively.

Moira also sent her a musical toy, and Ella loves to watch and listen to it. The first time we introduced her to the toy was in October when Michael brought it back from his visit to family in Australia:
Ella admiring Jemima the Duck from /ella jean. on Vimeo.

Here are other pictures of Ella taken in the fall and winter of 2008 and this month (January, 2009). I had one celebrity sighting on the trip home to California for Christmas. When we were waiting for our luggage at the baggage claim, a girl complimented Ella on her big blue eyes. The girl asked me how old Ella was, and I realized it was Monica Lewinsky! She is prettier in real life than she looked in photographs and on television.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Harvest Festival

Today my father, Ella and I went to the Park Slope Harvest Festival at JJ Byrne Park. Ella had her first pony ride and fed the pony and a small goat. I thought she might cry or ask to get off when the guide took her from my arms to put her on the back of the pony, but she was content to ride. I think I may have been more excited about the ride than she was.

Anniversary weekend

Michael, Ella and I went to Santa Barbara to visit my parents and friends in September on our second wedding anniversary. We made a trip to the beach, and Ella loved the water, even though it wasn't an overly warm day and the water was cold.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Pool

Ella tried the new inflatable baby pool today. She had a good time.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Staying home with a child is one of the hardest things to do (for me). A rough day at home makes any bad day I had during my working career look like no big deal.

Yesterday was one of 'those' days, when nothing seemed to go right. Ella is fussy about eating solid food (again), and melted down completely when I put her in her high chair for mealtimes, if I talked on the phone, if I left the room for more than a few minutes, etc. She was tired as well, so the only thing she wanted to do was nurse. Her naps were truncated, probably because she hadn't eaten enough food. I was tired and tried to nap when she napped, but she woke up after 40 minutes so I didn't sleep.

Amanda and Oona came over in the middle of the day to keep us company for awhile (they were having a similar type of day), and still, Ella and Oona were somewhat out of sorts, though they played alongside each other and tried to out-squeal one another a few times. When Oona ate, I tried to feed Ella, but she cried and refused food. Amanda tried to watch Ella while I made some phone calls upstairs, and Ella cried so much that I gave up.

By 3:30 in the afternoon, Ella was complaining a lot again (wouldn't eat any food I offered and wanted to be held). I put her in her stroller and tried to get ready to go out to the park, and she carried on crying while in the stroller in the entryway. I snapped.

I yelled at her ("stop crying!") which made her pause for a minute, and then really cry when she saw that I was angry. This made me even more frustrated, and I shouted again at her. She was crying in earnest now, and when I saw how upset she was, I realized that I scared her, and I took her out of the stroller, sat on the stairs with her in my lap, and all she wanted to do was nurse. Within 5 minutes, she was asleep in my arms, so I put her in her crib and she slept for an hour (from 4-5 pm).

I called her pediatrician and he suggested I cut out all breastfeeding during the daytime and encourage her to eat three meals a day. He said it will be "hell for a week or so", but she needs to understand that there are specific windows of time by which food will be offered, and she needs to eat solid food if she wants to address her hunger.

He feels she's not eating food because she'd prefer to nurse, although nursing does not provide her with enough calories to maintain her growth. I agree with this, but dread going cold-turkey because eating solids is already a source of a lot of crying, and the peaceful nap strategy we've had for months will also disappear. Can I handle 5-6 bouts of crying (around mealtimes and naps) for some unknown number of days in a row (in addition to crying when she wants to nurse at random times)?

Can I mentally stand the crying and the lack of sleep and the unhappiness? I'm not sure.

I am going to postpone starting this until the weekend when Michael will be home and can help distract her from wanting to nurse for at least to the first two days of this new phase.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ice Cream with Golden

Today Golden was feeling really good. Jen called me while Ella was down for her midday nap and invited us to meet them for ice cream. As soon as Ella opened her eyes, we hustled out the door to rendezvous at a new ice cream place on 16th Street near PPW.

On the way there, Ella and I passed the actor John Corbett standing the street (-our second celebrity sighting in the last several weeks)*.

Golden went to the hospital this morning for a check-up and Jen said his numbers (blood counts) were some of the best he's had since he was diagnosed with LCH in December. It was clear when we met them that he was feeling great; he was smiling, waving and watching cars and trucks go by.

Although eating is a challenge for these kids (for different reasons), you wouldn't have guessed if you saw them polishing off their ice creams today. Since Golden and Ella were both holding up well, we went for a stroll along the park. It was a beautiful day and great to see Golden (and Jen) smiling.

* Two weeks ago, we passed Maggie Gyllenhaal and her hubby, Peter Sarsgard, walking on 6th Avenue in Park Slope.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

First Finger Painting

Saturday, July 13, started as a dream day. Ella slept in until 6 a.m. (a luxury!), and napped well (2 hours in the a.m!). The midday nap didn't go as well and she woke up cranky. We decided to head to Amanda's since new scenery and other small people to play with are two good remedies for crankiness. Oona was having the same sort of afternoon as Ella, so there was double the crankiness, but the girls generally enjoy being together, and getting out of the apartment is a good change of pace. After they splashed for awhile in the baby pool, we decided to try finger painting with them.

Ella enjoyed putting her fingers in each of the paint containers, as well as putting the lids in her mouth (non-toxic paint). Oona didn't dig the scene much at all and wasn't up for painting. Since it was getting cool in the yard, we canned the painting idea, dried them off and brought them indoors to play. They were happiest then, walking, talking, squealing, and playing with Oona's push and pull toys. The compilation above was made by Amanda, and the caption she wrote under it says "One of these children would very much prefer not to get dirty".