Friday, March 29, 2013

Happiness is...

 Happiness is...seeing Disney Live! and rocking my socks off with Mickey and friends!

March Madness From The Baby’s Perspective

As seen in New York Family magazine:

All around the basketball hoop
The Devil chased the Cardinal
The Cardinal missed a three-point shot
And pop went the Devil!

Dream: I filled out my bracket and won my bet with Mommy and Daddy that my picks would beat theirs. For my prize, I’m in Atlanta sitting courtside with my peeps rooting for my team in the Final Four. I’m sporting my team squeaks Mary Jane’s, an adorable cheerleader outfit, and my team-colored hair bow. No one cares that I’m up past my bedtime because it’s the most wonderful time of the year—March Madness!

Reality: I couldn’t sleep the other night. I heard Mommy and Daddy groaning so I know our team lost in the regional basketball tournament. The next day, my friends that have their own iPhones confirmed it was true (I wish I had my own iPhone but Mommy says not until pigs can fly…when will that happen? Oink!). Anyhow, it was a tough loss at a critical time but everyone makes mistakes—like when I fed puppy the homemade snack Mommy had spent so much time making for me. Okay, well maybe that was intentional, but you know what I mean. I just know they’ll perform better in the big dance.

In case you didn’t know, the NCAA tournament is a really big deal. Last year, Mommy and Daddy even changed my schedule, held off diaper changes, and did everything in basketball time…which is a lot longer than regular time.

A few days later, Mommy is feeding me dinner while Daddy is watching the Selection Sunday Special. I hear the analysts talking about who’s in and who’s out, but just want to know where my team will be seeded. I’m enjoying my fantastic grilled cheese when I hear the awful news of our seed and region. I immediately spit out the sandwich and vomit a little. Yes. I’m that disappointed. Mommy asks Daddy if it’s a coincidence. Daddy says no, recognizing my extreme fandom.

You see, basketball was one of the first things I was allowed to watch on the magic box. Daddy would have it on when Mommy went out. It was our little secret. At first, it was all about the cute, animal mascots. They made me squeal with delight! But then Daddy informed me about the skills in the game. Plus, I love watching the big kids run up and down the court and seeing the tricks they perform with the ball. Sometimes it looks like they’re flying through the air. I’ve tried to do it myself, but my buddy told me I need Air Jordans first. So I put them on my Amazon wish list.

Daddy even made the magic box come to life when we went to see a basketball game in person. We went with a few of my friends and their parents and it was all the rage. There were a gazillion people there and all sorts of magic screens filled with numbers and letters that I’m still learning. My older friends read us the numbers so we could keep score. We all wore our team apparel and clapped better than that old woman in the Clapper commercial. And we had everyone around us cheering and applauding, too. We were the cutest pint-sized fans ever.

Mommy and Daddy made a bet that day that if our team made it to the Championship in the “big dance” we could all go. The big dance sounded like so much fun. I have some great moves that I like to display when I hear my favorite tunes, including a cute booty bounce and a ride the pony move. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. I carry around my team bear and keep asking Mommy to put on my team squeaks shoes. I run around the house in them saying, “Go team!” but I’m not sure if Mommy and Daddy get it. And puppy just chases after my shoes like any other squeaky toy. Either he’s a bad fan or it’s true—he has a low IQ.

Between us, I even started a baby bracket pool. While all our parents think we’re speaking gibberish, I’m really briefing my pals on my Daddy’s sabermetrics system and convincing them that they want to be in my baby basketball pool. We argue over which mascots are cuter, which players are the coolest, and then apply Daddy’s analysis on top. And it works! I started taking in everyone’s brackets picks at play dates, at class, and at the playground. I stashed them in my Radio Flyer wagon and told puppy to guard them.

Now we just have to wait and see if it’s a Cinderella story (no, not the Disney princess kind!) or if the usual suspects will take the prize. I just hope my team keeps it together so my family can take a magical trip to the big dance. And if I make a few hundred bucks off my baby pool in the meantime, that would be an added bonus. Then I can finally buy those baby Air Jordans.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Happiness is...

Happiness is...using a new word and getting what I want when I say it!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Guess Who’s Winning The Weaning War?

As seen in New York Family magazine:

Dream: I’m comfortably snuggled in Mommy’s bosom. I can always relax to the point of falling asleep in this cozy embrace. I cross my legs at my ankles, burrow into her warm chest, and fall asleep listening to Mommy’s heart beat. This is heaven!

Reality: I wake up ready for my milk. Daddy greets me at the crib. Where is Mommy? I love seeing Daddy but not until after I’ve had my morning fix. I can’t function until I have my milk in me. I pound my fists and sob uncontrollably. I start to circle the apartment looking for Mommy. Daddy keeps chasing me with a sippy cup filled with cow’s milk, but I want liquid gold from Mama’s babas. I know they’re here somewhere. She rocked and sang me to sleep last night and she’s never up before I am. So I storm into room after room looking for her but no Mommy in sight. I fall to the ground hysterically crying for Mama’s babas.

You see, Mommy nursed me since I was a newborn. Despite many obstacles and unwelcome commentary, she persevered. It was one of our first bonding experiences and she stuck with it, nourishing me into a beautiful and strong little lady. Not only has it boosted my immunities, but it also helps me ward off diseases, allergies, and other health risks.

Also, Mommy’s milk tastes fantastic! No, really. It’s new and exciting depending upon what she eats. Her diet makes the milk take on flavor nuances; my taste buds practically dance. I’ve had osso bucco milk, sushi milk (better than it sounds), spicy curry milk, but my favorite is Oreo milk. I hear cookies and milk are a perfect match, no?

Besides the milk being delicious, it’s so comforting for Mommy to cuddle me close every time we nurse. She twiddles my hair and lets me put my feet on her chin. If anyone dares to interrupt us, I quickly unlatch and glare. It always does the trick. I get her all to myself. Is that so wrong?
But for the past several weeks, I can’t help but notice that I’m being offered the babas less and less. I’ve learned to love my sippy cup, but there’s no milk like Mommy’s milk. I don’t know why it’s being slowly taken from me. Sure, I’ve bitten a few times, but Mommy never deprived me of her babas after a tiny bite from me. And no matter where we went, she always offered them. On airplanes, trains, and automobiles, at home and on vacation. I did start playing peek-a-boo with the hooter hider exposing Mommy by accident on occasion, but she always seemed to laugh it off.

At first I thought maybe the babas were broken. I’ve seen my toys break and come back to life with new batteries. I tried sneaking batteries into Mommy’s brasserie, but it didn’t work. My sippy cup sometimes needs a shake to get the milk out, so I tried the shaking method. No such luck. I observed the sink stop running hot water and Daddy fixed it, but he doesn’t seem to be fixing my babas even though I know he likes them, too. He always thanks me for giving them to Mommy. And I asked very nicely for the babas. Until now and that brings us to my tantrum.

While I may not have mastered the verbal skills needed to articulate what I want, I have this whole body language thing down and know how to say “give me those babas.” I keep asking for them, but it’s as if they don’t want to listen. Is this practice for when I ask for a pony? Is this some sort of awful prank? I don’t get it.

I begrudgingly drink from my sippy cup. Daddy told me he put chocolate milk in it, but I keep asking for Mommy’s brand instead. Finally, that night, I won the battle royale. I got my babas back! It was even better than I remembered. Mommy thought I fell asleep, but I saw her smiling at me and heard her say she loves nursing me, too.

We’re at a standstill at present with the score at Elle Belle: 1, Mommy and Daddy: 1. But I think we all know who will win the weaning war!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Up in the Air With Baby Elle Belle

As seen in New York Family Magazine:

We get up early since today’s a big day
Going to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s to play

We packed last night so the morning goes well
It’s up in the air for this tiny Belle!

Dream: I run down the sidewalk gaining speed and, before I know it, I’m flying up in the air. Mommy gets smaller and smaller the higher I go and my puppy is chasing after me at top speed. I twirl around saying hello to the birds, giving Superman a high five, but then see Mommy and puppy looking so sad. I begin my descent, landing safely back at home and giving them a big hug and kiss.
Reality: Can you believe it? We’re going to visit Grandma and Grandpa in sunny Florida! But I’m quite worried about those two because since the last time I visited, Mommy carries them around on her little magic screen she calls iPhone. Every so often they light up to say hello and smile at me, but it’s weird because they’re so awfully small and their heads look so big! I’m pretty sure I’ll be bigger than them when I visit. Maybe they’ll even fit into my shape sorter.

Anyhow, we packed almost the whole house yesterday: my clothes, pjs, diapers, wipes, toys, socks, shoes, food, bowls, spoons…well there isn’t much we didn’t pack. Every time I played with one of my toys, Mommy took notes like a research scientist, and when I woke up this morning they were all in this big bag. I know this because it was left wide open and I crawled into it for some serious exploring. But then Mommy picked me up and put me in my step and play piano (I’m a virtuoso, if you must know) and told me that we are taking the bag on an airplane and up in the sky. I saw an airplane in my First 100 Words book. It looked like a funky bird, if you ask me.

We take all of our luggage and I hail a taxi with my fantastic waving skills (I’m an NYC baby after all), and we’re on our way.

At the airport we go through security and everyone needs to see how cute I am so Mommy takes me out of my car seat and stroller, but a security agent takes my sippy cup. That’s my cup! Mine! I cry louder as he puts it into a machine. What is he making me a latte? I hear those are delish, by the way. Finally, he gives it back but it tastes the same. Sigh. I don’t really want it anymore.

Mommy plops me back in my stroller and starts pacing back and forth before walking in circles. Note to parents: We babies can sense stroller circle patterns. We know what you’re trying to do and it ain’t happening. Who wants to sleep in the airport when there’s so much new and exciting stuff to see?
Next thing I know we’re entering a dark tunnel which leads to a narrow room full of people seated on both sides with a narrow aisle down the middle. As we make our way down the aisle, almost everyone waves hello, makes funny faces, or speaks baby to me. This must be what celebrities on the red carpet have to deal with! These folks really take an interest in me so I flash my best four-tooth smile before we take our seat.

Shortly after the safety demonstration (which I found to be rather unsafe considering they tell the adults to secure their masks before the children’s!) we’re up in the air. There are some big bumps and jumps like when we stroll down the city sidewalks and they blast during subway construction, but things smooth out when Mommy shows me the blue sky out of the teeny tiny window.
Soon, Daddy takes me for a walk up and down the aisle. Now this is fun. I run back and forth a few times and we step and repeat until Mommy sets me back in my seat for a rest. Looks like it’s naptime! So many adults are snoozing around me. There’s lots of great white noise and I somehow fall asleep too.

Suddenly, I’m woken up by a loud man with a booming voice. What could he want? Wait, where am I? I’m not in my crib. Oh no! Help! Wait, Mommy and Daddy are right next to me. Whew. But then…my ears hurt. Ouch. Big ouch! Mommy keeps trying to make me drink my sippy or chew my puffs but it hurts too much. I scream as loud as I can to make it stop. That should work, right? It doesn’t stop. I drink a little from my sippy and that helps a bit, but I don’t want all that much to drink. No more drinking for me. As soon as I stop my ears hurt again so I scream louder and harder this time. For some reason Mommy is crying, too.

I hear a big thump and realize that we’ve landed. Welcome to Florida! Everyone stands up and takes their belongings. Everyone starts smiling at me, noting what a great tiny traveler I am. It was touch and go for a second, but otherwise, I was a living doll.

Soon we’re off the plane and walking through a sunny airport. In the distance I see Grandma and Grandpa. They’re so big. What happened? Right away they snatch me and I start getting wet kisses. Even worse than when puppy kisses me. I guess it runs in the family? Either way, I was a great tiny traveler–that can’t be denied–and now I get to enjoy being at Grandma and Grandpa’s where I always get my way!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Up In The Air

We get up early since today’s a big day
Going to grandma and grandpa's to play
We packed last night so the morning goes well
It’s up in the air for this tiny Belle!

I am super excited for my flight
Up in the air then at grandma’s tonight
We leave early so we won’t be too late
We lug all of my 101 things to the gate

My big smile wins us a group of fans
At security they loan helping hands
Next we secure a space for my car seat
Then it’s a diaper change- a difficult feat

It’s time to board and we get on the plane
The cabin door shuts; the planes down the lane
I drink as we take off to help my ears
I drink my milk and sleep having no fear

Playing with mommy who’s right by my side
I really enjoy this whole airplane ride
I close my eyes and Mommy does so too
Holding my hand and loving me through and through

Before we know it we’re on our way down
The announcements wake me up and I frown
But I learn that we arrived in style
And greet grandma and grandpa with a smile

This tiny traveler will enjoy her stay
Since at grandma’s I always get my way!