Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Home with the Christmas tree

We've made it all the way down to sunny south Florida! There's no snow. In fact, it's a heavenly 75 degrees. But there is a Christmas tree! Ella loves it.

I also had a moment with the Christmas tree. We only put up a tiny artificial one that we hardly decorated this year because we were going out of town and Ella is SO INTO EVERYTHING! I was just watching the tree and remembering being a little girl and feeling like it was just so special and magical to sit and watch the beautiful lights in the dark. My sister caught me sitting on the couch crying because, in my own words, "I'm just so happy to be home with the Christmas tree!" Soon I was laughing and crying my head off with my sis, one of my favorite things to do, because of her response. "I'm sure the Christmas tree is really glad to have you home too." What a silly lady I am sometimes! Of course, it's great to see my family too. : )

We've been enjoying old Disney Christmas sing along records from when I was little, making gingerbreadmen, playing blocks with Granddaddy and watching all the doggies run around. It's great to be home, and also fantastic that soon we'll be able to share  some time with the other set of grandparents too!

We'll probably be too busy to post the next week or so, but have a merry merry merry Christmas everybody!

Monday, December 20, 2010


Last night we went to a white elephant party. I came home with a Snuggie. I love it.

Did I just put a picture of me in a snuggie on the internet?

Hope you enjoy! If you don't make too much fun of me, I'll let you try it out when you come over next time! It's seriously blanket heaven. (Except smells kind of like playdough . . . wierd).

Friday, December 17, 2010

The queen of everything

 The queen of everything, perched on her throne:

Lucie interjects, "Ummm, excuse me, whose throne?"

I stand corrected. : )

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Whack a mole

So, I mentioned that Ella has no need to walk. Let me show you her preferred manner of travel.

Notice she winds up by the window? It snowed this morning! Yay. If it's going to be the tundra, it could at least snow, as far as I'm concerned. 

Today I was in the living room and had just got her comfortable with some blocks when I heard the rapid slap, slap, slap, of her little hands whacking the floor accompanied by panting as she crawls so fast she gets out of breath. She was headed for the kitchen, but by the time I got there, she had rounded to corner again and was going down the hall. It seems she had decided to do some laps. Before she could finish her loop, she was finally distracted by our dvd collection which someone had put away and which needed to be spread on the floor again. I tell ya. I can barely keep up with her these days. Last night at dinner she was rescued from Lucie's water bowl only to go straight for the old batteries in the bottom of the pantry, and then the open and dirty dishwasher. I am in a constant game of whack a mole. Here are some photos of her caught in the dilemma of how to both play with Daddy's antique radio and the Christmas tree at the same time:

It is exciting to see her so enthusiastically exploring though, she is so proud of herself, and what can I say, so am I!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Walking practice

Ella has got standing down to a science. She can even squat down and stand up repeatedly without losing her balance. But she doesn't seem to feel a need to walk. So yesterday Paul, ever the athlete, decided to give her a little coaching. As the video illustrates, I think we need to focus on team motivation and morale.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Awkward Awesome Family Photos

We took Christmas pictures today! Like fancy ones in a studio in front of a Christmas tree background. I felt like we were such an established family. I was the Mom, Paul was the Dad, and Ella was the Baby. Does that just sound stupid? Do you know what I mean? Anyway. I'm sure this will live to haunt us, it's a little cheesy. (Have you guys seen the Awkward Family Photos blog? It's hilarious.) But we really enjoyed it.

Without further ado:

I know, I know, I shouldn't have owned up to the pull-down background and maybe I could have passed this off for our cozy living room. Ours looks basically the same though (if you use your imagination, add in a tree and lots of presents and subtract the scattered shoes, toys, and mail).

 Thanks cousin Anna for passing on the pretty Christmas dress and bow!

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Cock a doodle doo!

Ella is really starting to enjoy reading books. We have one about animals and the noises they make, which is a favorite. Today when I was reading it to her, she started imitating the cock a doodle doo! It was hilarious. I thought it was surely a fluke, but later she found yet another animal noise book we have and I pointed out the rooster with sound effects again. Sure enough . . . let me let you experience it for yourself. (Sorry the video cuts off at the end, battery died, but you get the idea.)

Does this mean her first word was cock a doodle doo?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Baby it's cold outside

Yesterday our amazing husband and beloved Dada turned 30! We had a nice quiet day befitting the change from being a wild 20-something to being an old, old 30-something. We had a nice dinner out (5:30 reservation, yes!). Then we watched the Daily Show on the couch and I fell asleep and would not move until Paul stole my blanket and made me go upstairs. It was all in love. : ) But here are some shots from dinner at the Angus Barn. The first one is more what it looked like, warm low lighting and cozy wood paneling and stuff. Also cake! Yum! (For those of you who know about Paul's problem with cake, it was a pound cake which is way more edible to him than the standard birthday cake cake.)

However, in this one, thank you flash, you can see our shiny happy birthday faces. Except Ella. But don't worry, there's more of her below.

In order to make our early reservation, I picked Paul up from work yesterday so he wouldn't have to come home first. We (especially the pint sized family member) were really tired after dinner and didn't go pick up his car, so he was going to ride his bike to work today. Except its FREEEEZING outside. So, I had to drop him off this morning. But I was supposed to take Ella to an 8:30 doctors appointment. 8:30! What was I thinking making it at that time? Anyway, we missed the appointment. But we still had a playdate at 9:30 dangerously close to the mall. It was actually in the mall at that cool playplace. I decided to exchange a sweater at Old Navy, but somehow wound up in the baby section. And Ella and I had our first shared fashion experience. It was sublime. : ) I was looking at these cute little baby dresses, which looked very warm (did I mention it's freezing here?). Ella was looking sort of vaguely at them until she saw a particular one. And she smiled. I showed her others, but she would only smile at this one, and preferred to look at it when shown two as well. (I am quite the baby behavioralist, I know. ) She chose it, not me. And what can I say, she has great style! It looks so cute on her! Please ignore the slobber on the bib. We still have some pretty serious drooling issues.

Of course it doesn't hurt that she is bout the cutest little thing I've ever seen. : ) And that is our report for today so far.

Monday, December 06, 2010

In Memory

My grandmother passed away a few days before Thanksgiving. We were away at her funeral last weekend. She lived a long and beautiful life with a radiant personality that never faded even as her health and her memory did. I'm so thankful for every sweet memory of such a lovely lady.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Favorite instrument

So last night, Mama was irresponsible and left one of these cool shakers on the kitchen floor. To be fair, Mama wasn't the one who put it there, but you know, I'll take the blame. When Dada came home, he stepped on it and it sounded horribly like it broke. But it didn't. But we decided these particular shakers should probably be off limits. They aren't officially baby toys you know. I put them away and didn't think anything of it until I turned around from the computer to find Ella like this:


Here she is making her case for how cool these things are and why she should be allowed to play with them:

 She convinced me. So I made the case to Paul and he said ok too. Score one for Ella! : ) This will just be another excellent opportunity to work on our understanding of the meaning of "gentle, gentle." (And, "pick up your toys.")

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


 Guess what?

We've got teeth! See 'em?

 And we're feeling pretty good about it.

The whole thing was a little anti-climactic. Ella has definitely given me fussier weeks with no teeth involved. The first one broke through Saturday and the second one this morning. I can't believe it! My baby is getting so big!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving went by in a blur

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving! I just love Thanksgiving. Such a happy holiday. We stayed around home this year and ate with my cousin Jen who lives just a hop skip and a jump away in Raleigh. The food was good, the family was great, and the trip over involved no body scanning or pat-downs. Yay. The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key. I'll even call a day trip to Charlotte low-key since we had no schedule and it was very stress-free. We'd never been there before, so we just walked around downtown a little and had a nice dinner. Fun. Also. It is now really cold here. I'm not used to it and feel sort of annoyed. Hopefully I'll get over it soon, because we haven't even officially made it to the start of winter yet.

I did take some pictures this weekend. But not a single good one in the batch, hence the title of this post. I do think these testify to the constant motion of my baby and my life at this stage of the game. : )
Here is a shot of the end of our thanksgiving meal. Aunt Toby has a neat tradition where everybody signs the tablecloth after the meal. That's the writing you see. Good idea huh?

 The rest of these are just kinda Ella in motion. Off we gooooo!

I seriously took some bad pictures, and for some reason didn't have it in me to keep trying for a good one. Either that or Ella's just getting too quick for me now. (Santa, think image stabilization technology!)

Finally this morning I caught a quiet moment of birdwatching for Ella and Lucie. It was so cute. Someone was chirping very loudly outside the window and they were both transfixed.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chicka chicka

 Ella loves rhythm. She thinks clapping is the best thing ever. (Correction: almost as cool as Lucie.) And she loooves when Paul plays the drum for her. Today she was crawling around and found the drum by the window. She was delighted.

However, let's be practical. This is not the safest toy. It doesn't exactly support a small person trying to pull up on it and stand, which is what Ella had in mind. I was very glad when she found our rhythm instruments hiding under the chair and became fascinated with them instead. I have been trying to get her to play with these for a while, but of course, they are much cooler if you find them on your own. She is still treating me to a little shaker solo as I'm writing this. So cute!

She is just in awe of how amazing these toys are!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Naptime is back!

Nap time is back! We had really had a bad few days. I think this may be due to the two little bumps in Ella's front lower gums. But I am happy to report that she is taking her normal morning nap right now, and I was able to put her down with out even a backrub. Woo! Taking care of a baby is just change, change, and change again. As soon as I think I've got a routine down, there's something new and unexpected.

Here are some sweet naptime pictures. Don't they just make you wonder why you aren't napping now yourself? Sure do make me wonder that!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Helping daddy

 Ella was so interested in what Daddy was doing to the kitchen cabinets. If only she had known we were locking her out, she might not have been so excited. But then again, when Daddy gets down on floor level it's pretty much really exciting no matter what is going on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

modern bebe

This is definitely her favorite toy.

By the way, I don't think this is related to all the problems I was having with my service last month. But if it hastens the phone's demise there won't be much love lost. ; ) Sorry, that was complaining and being ungrateful for a perfectly fine phone that looks like a really cute compact. I just kinda wish I had one of those phones where you can put photos straight from your phone onto your blog . . . Dreamy. My camera doesn't even work on this phone (and it's supposed to). When I took it in to have it fixed, they said they couldn't help me because I didn't have insurance. I thought, let me get this straight. I am supposed to have insurance against my phone just breaking, because I may have bought a piece of junk, and the company won't stand by it otherwise. Super. And that is apparently the sitch. Anyway. This post is getting a bit cranky again and I apologize again.

In positive news, I figured out a trick today! Ella has been boycotting her naps by sitting or standing up lately. But today I found that if I hold her down by rubbing her back pretty hard, she will fall asleep. It has helped us both so much. It works way better that trying to cry it out. She is down this way in about a minute, vs crying for up to 30, which we all hate. So yay. : ) Do I still sound cranky or am I getting too self-conscious? Either way, I think I better stop blogging for the night! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Look ma, no hands!

We have just been having a really good time playing with this little singing table. Ella is so into it, as you can see. Mama is also into it in that it is fun, safe, interesting and doesn't require me to rescue her frequently, unlike so many of the other things she chooses to explore. Also important to notice is that there are a couple of spots in the video where Ella is showing off her new ability to stand, unsupported. I wasn't able to catch a really long one so far, but she has been standing for up to 30 seconds. Are we getting ready to take those first steps? Yikes!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Playing hard

 The down side to Ella's mobility is black eyes and bruises and things like that. The up side is that playtime is becoming way more fun and adventurous. These first four pictures are taken at this little playplace they have in our mall. What a great thing! We go there kind of a lot.

Okay mom, here I go!

This castle was a bit dangerous in that Ella found it very exciting to look up the slide where all the big kids were coming down. But as previously mentioned, the danger comes with the added fun these days. I had to swoop her away several times though.

 Here is Ella playing with a super-cool little table we borrowed from Pat and Brenda. (Ella is way indebted to them for her baby experience. They donated the green paci's too if you recall. : ) ) The table has little fruits and veggies that sing when you touch them and things like that. She loves it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Aunt Megan and Uncle David

We are having so much fun with Aunt Megan and Uncle David who came to visit!