Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quincy Christmas Parade

Today, we ditched out early on church to go to the Quincy Christmas parade. It was as fun as a smaller parade can be. We did get some good photos of Elliott. The weather was better than could be hoped for. and yes, she is saying Santa, in her own way.









Elliott is now 15 months old. Happy monthaversary baby! Elliott is getting cooler and cooler all the time and she has some new tricks we wanted to share:

-feeding herself yogurt
-feeding her baby doll her sippy cup.
-wiping her doll's nose
-pretending to blow her nose (by taking a tissue, putting it to her nose and making a noise with her mouth)
-saying "bless" when you or she sneeze
-throwing her hands up in the air and shrugging her shoulders when you ask a question she is unsure of the answer to (i.e. where is your sippy cup elliott?)
-backing up to sit on your lap with a book in hand (please NOT the duck book, please!)
-Animal sounds: Roar, Woof, Oink (a snort!), Moo, Sssss (like a snake)
-Words: Horse (Has), Duck, Santa (Sasa), Hat, Boo (as in ghost), Teeth (thhh), Andrew (Adoo), Bless, Dog, Vroom, Vroom.
-Blow kisses
-We have met with her stubborn streak. She uses her arm to say "get away from me" which we call the windshield wiper arm. It's pretty effective. For instance, Jer went into check on her when she cried out at 3am the other day. Poor Jer, he got the windshield wiper arm: "not you, I want the woman with the milk!" Sorry baby, you only get that after 6am now. Momma's all you can eat kitchen is closed after 8pm.
-Sniffing! So cute. You ask if you can give her a sniff, and you sniff her cheek. Then you ask her to sniff you (your face :) and she nuzzles up close to your cheek and gives you little baby sniffs.
-She has figured out how to use a water fountain even though she cannot reach to drink.
-Letter writing: Elliott likes to take a pen and piece of paper and pretend to write on them....she now has her own designated "pen" with ink removed so she can write letters to her family in California.
-For a long time she has brought us her doll and a shoe and requests that we put the shoe on the doll. Yelling at first, now signing "please". Then she gets another shoe, repeat. After that, she take the doll and makes her dance.
-She has made friends with Andrew our downstairs neighbor. Today we said "want to go downstairs and play with Andrew" she promptly turned around, left the kitchen and headed to the door.

Our struggles with El are primarily eating. Some days are good some days are bad. Right now she eats (somewhat regularly, but not guaranteed) sweet potato pancakes, raisins, whole wheat pasta with red sauce (I throw some pureed carrot in there too), black beans, red beans, rice, quesadilla, oatmeal, yogurt, cheese, pirates booty and veggie chips. We are hoping to expand her palate. We have read that if picky kids eat with less picky kids they eat better...we are going to try that with Andrew downstairs. He is a great eater and we hope maybe he can be a good example.

That's it for a general update. Pretty much, the little girl rocks!

Friday, November 20, 2009

14 months

Thursday, November 05, 2009

They are always watching us...

Today, Elliott found Rachel's lipstick. We thought she had just discovered a simple new toy. But no, she new exactly what it was and what to do with it. This is proof that kids are always watching.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Less Fun: H1N1

For those of you in Massachusetts who are wondering what is up with swine flu vaccination plan for MA I have been frequenting the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Blog. Take a look to get updated info.

Also, did you know that Elliott has to get 2 flu shots? I was not told this when I went to the MD clinic for her first one. I need to call the MD and get the final scoop. Here I was thinking we were "all set!" nope. So please, do not sneeze on my child or you will get the royal flu busting smack down.

Friday, October 30, 2009

October and Halloween














Saturday, October 24, 2009

In a World of First's

Today Elliott stepped in poop for the first time.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What can I tell ya?

Elliott has tons of tricks!

She pointed at teeth of a woman smiling in a magazine and made a sound that was just like the word teeth. "tttth, tttth"

She goes and gets a book from the other room and brings it back to you at your request.

She wants to wear her glitter shoes and will bring them to you so she can do so.

She has a slow zombie dance which we must get on video.

She kisses dolls, toys, pictures of books, you - with a smacking sound for emphasis.

She finds a bag and wanders around putting things in it: a piece of food from the floor and a chick toy - only the best - all in the same bag.

She is signing like a madwoman for "more", "nurse" and "eat"

She can turn on the knob on our baseboard heater in the den. (We are going to have to address that)

Yesterday she was going up and down the small, three step slide at McDonald's all by herself! She LOVED it!

This little girl is SO MUCH fun!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Cranberry Festival

Today we went to a Cranberry Festival in Wareham, MA. The weather was very nice and we had a lot of fun with the Onkens and the Johnsons. Elliott did great in the Beco carrier (to our surprise) and she loved the drum/noise circle. She also loves her new mobility.






Friday, October 09, 2009

New Tricks

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Crying It Out: The Update

I just put baby Elliott to sleep and decided I would provide an update. Elliott is doing GREAT.

We have a nice little night time ritual we 3 enjoy together.

1) tub (optional)
2) pajamas
3) play in room
4) dim lights in bedroom
5) say good night to every room in our apartment ("good night kitchen" - then turn out light)
6) along the way we find Lucy, Elliott's doll, and there is a happy reunion
7) back to the bedroom
8) nurse
9) brush teeth
10) prayer
11) song
12) kiss - into bed (that is really 2 steps but i did not want the last step to be the number 13 :)

Elliott lets me put her in the crib without a fuss. She lays down and GOES TO SLEEP! It is so cute we may have to video tape it. I wish I could stand there and stare at her as she goes to sleep but I am thinking that might not work. I mean, she goes to sleep! It is an amazing thing.

Elliott wakes up early in the am 5:30 or so. I nurse her, I probably should not but I do...then she goes to sleep for another hour. She is still getting up too early. We should work on tweaking her schedule so she is not up so early - but for now, it's working. I just need to work on going to bed earlier myself.

Naps are still not easy. She cries and cries if put in her crib. I have to nurse her to sleep, but it does not always work. So I have a bad habit on planning to go somewhere during her nap so she falls asleep in the car. It's cheating, I know. Right now I think she is figuring out if she is a one nap or two nap a day girl. If anyone has any nap pointers they are welcome.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Flying Horses

This is me, blogging instead of sleeping.

Today Papa, Suki, Elliott and myself went to Nantasket Beach in Hull, Ma. Poor Jer needed to stay behind in order to participate in a group meeting for school. Suki decided on the trip because she wanted to see Elliott on the carousel. The carousel has a great deal of history surrounding it and I invite you to learn more.

Elliott enjoyed watching the horses as we walked around it and watched the children ride by. Her little pointer finger went right up to the sight before her eyes.

When we boarded she became a bit apprehensive and held on tight. The trip on the carousel was definitely a full sensory experience for her. The organ was quite loud and I held my hand over her little ears when we went by and it kept that little lower lip from jutting out. She liked spotting her Papa and Suki watching her from the "side lines" we kept spotting them again and again and again!

Post ride we ate some ice cream (Ellie too. She liked it.) and went to the beach. The tide was out, the sun was low ,the breeze was fantastic and the sand was hard packed. It was awesome. Perfect for some romping and toddling. Happy Sunday everybody!








Monday, September 14, 2009

Arbonne!

Greetings friends and family,

We look forward to getting more pictures up for you to enjoy of Elliott's big east coast family bash. In the mean time, I (Rachel) hope this blog post finds you well!

I wanted to announce to all of you that I have embarked on a new adventure. As of September, I have become an independent consultant for Arbonne International.

Arbonne International is a company dedicated to producing health and beauty products that are "safe, pure and beneficial".

My cousin, Dawn, has been using these products at her salon for over a year and, despite my fears and reservations, I have decided to take the plunge. I think it will be fun and a challenge. Fun because it is a party based business - a challenge because I will have to give presentations!

So, I encourage you to take a peek at the Arbonne International website. We just announced the holiday line which has such fun products such as "Pampermint" so you can love your feet this winter! If you like something you can order under my pin number: 18 37 43 19

And if I ask you to host a party - don't be afraid! It WILL be fun. You KNOW I am all about fun!

If you want me to host a party (you do get Arbonne treats!) please let me know!

My goal is to host 2 parties a month while Jeremy is in graduate school. Perhaps you can be one person who can help me reach my goal.

Love, Rachel

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Best first birthday party ever!


This is a composite of two photos, the kids got excited sooner than the grownups so I added them back in.

More photos to follow.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

She's Walking!

She had started walking unaided last Wednesday, however it wasn't until yesterday (Tuesday) that she took a significant amount of steps under her own motivation. I would not consider her a walker but she is walking. Give her a couple more days and she will be walking much more regularly.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday Party - One Year Old!

Our baby girl is now one year old. As is tradition in the Pauli family, birthdays last for weeks. That being said, this was just the first round of partying with the immediate family.












Friday, August 28, 2009

My Cousin Michelle

In October of 2000 (maybe September) my cousin Michelle and I moved into the first floor of a two family home. The two family belongs to my parents Carl and Susan Pauli.

I remember Michelle and I us scheming to move in together when I graduated from college. Upstairs, in my old bedroom, talking on the futon of my parents home, the home I grew up in (for clarity, not the two family). I remember the conversation I had with my dad. He said, practically, "well, check back in with Michelle, make sure she wants to do it, and then we will ask the downstairs tenants to move out." I told him, I did, it was done and we were moving in together. So exciting! We moved in and we lived together for 6 years. Those were an awesome 6 years. We talked and talked, laughed and knew how to take care of each other in small ways, that others may not notice. We supported each other through stress, sadness and tough days. I loved our mornings, Saturday or Sunday. Chatting at the kitchen table. It was awesome. I even had pet names for her. I call her "cousin" or "favorite" (short for favorite cousin, of course). When I got married, I did not move out - I moved up! Jeremy and I took up residence on the second floor. Michelle stayed down. We visited often. We fed Michelle (as she only has soup, smart ones and diet coke in her fridge - lets not forget the kashi!) and we still saw one another lots. When Elliott was born, of course, we were spoiled, Michelle came up even more - and we loved it. All three of us. Because Michelle is awesome.

Early this summer Michelle bought a house. It is a great house about 10 minutes away (and very close to an ice cream show and bakery with good pizza). She has been looking at houses for years - waiting for the perfect fit. I, of course, poked around many houses with her, sharing thoughts, offering support. She found one. It is awesome. It IS perfect for her. I love it. I love being in it. It is SO her! I am so proud of Michelle for saving her money, living wise, working hard, and achieving her goal of becoming a homeowner. She is a true example to me in this regard and in so many others...because, like I said, she is awesome.

About 3 weeks ago, The moving started, the packing, the paper passing, it was all a whirlwind really. A very exciting time of change. Around that same time, I developed a twitch. I squinted my nose, kind of like when you squint your eyes in the sun, but minus the eyes. I noticed it when I was working with my clients. I was concerned that they would think I was making a funny face at them. I did not know what was going on but I was concerned. I had a twitch, how bizarre! The past two days, emotionally, I have been going down hill, I have been worried about myself: stressed, anxious, shortness of breath, depressed. I have been thinking about how maybe I needed to get away, get a facial, do something to try and fix this funk I am in. I was trying to rack my brain to figure out what was wrong - and what is with this twitch?! Today in the car, on the way home from a mini celebration of Elliott's first birthday (of which Michelle was a guest) I figured it out! I was sad. I MISSED MICHELLE. Now I can finally cry. I know what to cry about. I miss my sweet cousin who I love so much. She is close by - so I will get used to it, I know, but for now, I finally know what is "wrong". Change is hard. As exciting as it is - it is hard. As much as I am happy for Michelle, I miss her downstairs and it will take some adjustment. Maybe I will still get the facial (although Michelle may not approve :) to be nice to myself as I adjust. Because, really, it is hard not having that much awesomeness so close. Her neighbors better know how lucky they are - (even if her grass is brown!)

I love my favorite cousin, Michelle.

Now I am in this weird place, where, as a therapist, I know I just "have to feel" and allow my feelings to exist and healing can naturally occur. There is no quick fix. I am just hopeful this silly twitch will go away in due time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Crying it Out (otherwise known as: I am dying inside)

So, this is the end of the innocence. Elliott is just about to turn one and last night we let her cry it out. I have been vehemently against this method throughout Elliott's young life so far. I was Dr. Sears all the way. A good friend of mine with a baby just a few days older than El let her babe CIO eons ago. She would sympathetically smile as I spoke to her about my 2 + wakings a night. She respected my POV, I respected hers, but for our babes we chose different paths. Jer and I changed as Elliott changed. She is a energizer bunny - non stop action - and now she was not stopping even AFTER I nursed her to sleep. She sprung back up. On one occasion I compared it to a zombie flick - she just keeps coming back - and we were all tired like zombies. It was getting worse and worse. Till a few nights ago all she wanted to do was sleep but she could/would not. We decided it was time for her to learn, gulp, all on her own. I could not believe it but we were ready for a change. We were about to Ferberize our baby! "Isn't it child abuse?" I wondered. I even asked Jer "What Would Jesus Do?" (is Ferber Satan?). Jer said Jesus would use some awesome calming power to put the baby to sleep. I concurred. The only super power I had in momma's milk was no longer working. It was time.

I called the doctor.
I emailed Flurg's mom.
I webbed it up.
I discussed with Jer.
I talked myself though.

  • The doctor advised: this is the first of the many times your will will go against the will of your baby. It is ok, she will be ok. She needs to learn.
  • Flurgs mom gave info and support.
  • The internet made me dizzy
  • Jer was ready. He was going to be the expert and executor (sounds so scary, and it was)
  • I told myself "this is just like when the baby is in the back of the car crying and there is nothing I can do".
The time approached. Elliott has a fantastic dinner. Yummy spaghetti with asparagus. She had a good evening played tons, was a happy little girl. I became progressively more anxious and upset inside. She was even cuter than ever. I felt pain in knowing what was about to happen. Then was the time. Tub, dark room, quiet play, nurse - no sleep. 9:00 pm put her down.

She screamed. 3 minutes pass. Jer goes in, reassures her, gives her some love with out picking her up and leaves. Jer then sets the timer for 5 minutes. I freak. 5 minutes! That's Ferber. 3, 5, 10, 10, 10 to infinity! Jer and I got in a fight about nothing until I started sobbing and dealing with the real problem. My baby was crying. Really crying. I had never heard that before, really. Maybe when she got a shot, but it was different, a pain cry versus I want my mommy and daddy cry. Jer goes in at the 5 minute mark. She is screaming, choking, gagging. I stood outside the door and sobbed. It was so very sad. My baby wanted relief, but she needed to sleep. We all needed to sleep! Jeremy came out of the bedroom, as the baby still sobbed, hugged me in the hall. I felt badly that he needed to support me, because I know it was hard on him too. He joked that he needed to check on both of his babies in 10 minutes. 10 minutes!! I did not think I could make it. I did not have to. She fell asleep. Beautiful sleep. And she slept from 9, say 9:20, until 1:30. WE WOULD HAVE TO DO THIS ALL OVER AGAIN. But we did not have to. She woke at 1:30, cried for a min and a half and went back to sleep, She woke at 3:00 squawked and went right back down, Again at 4ish, 5ish, 6ish and went right back to sleep. I woke HER up at 7:00am.

Elliott did not hate me. Although I still feel bad. I think Jer was right, she was ready, she was not ready before but she is ready now. I was ready. I needed a change. Jer was ready too. We are ready for our whole house to get some real sleep.

It is now nap time. I did the same routine myself at my mothers house. It was hard. I went in at the 3 min mark. She groped at me. Screamed and cried. It was good that my mom was here to support me. Elliott was asleep in 5 min and 30 seconds. But who's counting?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday, August 09, 2009

uh oh...

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Cheerios!

This morning Elliott got her hands on her favorite breakfast.

Monday, July 27, 2009

General Update: Baby

As a general update to all. Elliott can now do the following with relative reliability:
- Give kisses when asked (and when not distracted)
- Point to things
- Point to a short list of things (fan, stuffed fish...) when asked "Where's the ______?"
- Clap along
- Dance to music
- Climb stairs with the best of them
- Say "dada" and also "dada..da....dadda...daadaa"
- Say "dog" and "all done" (in her own way)
- Stand on her own for more than 10 seconds
- Play basketball (Playskool style)
- Climb onto the open dishwasher door (not endorsed by her parents)

There are so many things happening these days and it is really exciting to see her cognitive skills advance day by day. She turns 11 months tomorrow.

We love our baby.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Over Under Game

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Not to Divide Your Attention from Elliott but C-mon!

What's for dinner? Why, J Andy Kane's baby, of course.

Sadie looks delicious!

Zip Zip Zip!

We just booked a three our zip line adventure through Groupon.com and we are totally stoked!

http://www.deerfieldzipline.com/faqs.htm

Zip Zip Zip!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

New Plan

Summer has not come to New England as we have hoped this year. This caused some disappointment in the beginning but I have had to buck up and get over it. We have been pretty much under a cloud for weeks. Today was tops when there was even a tornado warning. Jer was driving right into the heart of it. Sans motorcycle, fortunately.

This weather has dashed my hopes of spontaneous trips to the beach, pool and park fun galore for baby Elliott and I have had to rethink summer plans. Four mornings a week we are going to the gym sometime between 7:30 and 8:30. Elliott is playing with her baby peers for a hour while I get some exercise. We come home and Elliott plays a bit more and then gets a nap. I can take a shower and get ready for the next part of the day - PLAYDATES! We are booking them people! You want to play? Call me, email me, send me an owl. We love to play. Elliott is having a great time. SO far she has played with Jonah, Kayla, Atticus and Will - and she wants to play with your baby too. Playdates have been a great way of making my friendships better, connecting on the mom level, sharing ideas and tricks of the trade, and general support for baby life. I love them. Elliott has so much fun. She loves to play. Perhaps your baby should play with her. After our playdates Elliott takes her second nap and we get ready for part three of the day "daddy's home!" Jeremy walks in the door and Elliott points and smiles like she is saying "YOU! I know you! I love you!" - it's the best.

In other news Elliott took 3 spills today. One drew blood. Poor baby. She pulled herself up to stand by the wooden chair in her room, somehow dropped down and bit her lower lip with her top teeth. She was not happy. I was proud that I kept my cool. She enjoyed the sensation of ice when I put it on her poor little lip and she sucked on it a little. I know she has got lots of bumps and bruises ahead and I am so proud that she bravely takes on the world a few minutes after life throws her a challenge.

That's our girl!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Addendum Re: Clapping + More

Elliott has also been spotted crying and clapping as well as crying and waving.

She is now standing for a few moments on her own - at least 10 seconds if she hits the "sweet spot".

Elliott can now be heard saying mama, dada, dog and (we think) cat.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Elliott's First Fourth

Elliott had her first fourth of July today, and what a fourth it was. The clouds finally left for a day and revealed the sun that had been hiding for the entire month of June.

As you will see in the video, Elliott is now able to stand unaided for several seconds. She is growing so fast and we love her so much.

Enjoy the pictures and happy fourth.