Monday, May 30, 2011


For the last few weeks, Paul has been eyeing this spot near the farmers market where there are a ton of mulberry trees. They are laden with berries this time of year, and mostly they just fall on the ground. So yesterday we went over there and caused them to fall on a tarp, where we could gather them.

Ella loved all of this. She tasted the berries, put them in a bucket, and even tried to shake a low branch (not of a mulberry tree, but it was a good idea). She also turned partially purple. Thankfully I had the foresight to take her pretty white top off before she really got into it. I lacked the foresight, however, to make sure the diaper bag was stocked with wipes. We had one. It was dry. Oh well. Sometimes you just have to be a mess and be ok with that.

This morning we had mulberry waffles. Yummmm.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Ella doesn't have a lot of words yet. And to be honest, most of the words she does have are technically animal sounds. But the funny thing is that one of her best "animal sounds" is the noise the bread machine makes. Whirrrrrgh. I tried to catch her making the noise along with the machine this afternoon, and unfortunately, even though she was happy to whirrrrgh on camera, the bread machine went into its (silent) rise cycle once I started filming. Booo. But the video is still really cute. That noise she makes is basically what the machine should be sounding like if you can use your imagination.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Feeling hot hot hot

It has been sooo hot this week. I used to live in this temperature range for most of the year growing up in Florida, but now that it's not normal I can really feel it. For the first few days this week I just felt like it was so hot I couldn't do anything. Like lift a camera or put a thought together, hence the no blogging. But now that it's been a few days, I'm getting used to it and not only did I lift a camera, I did it outside at the playground at 4:30 in the afternoon. (I'm not exaggerating on the heat, we were the only ones there! And this was primetime at a normally busy park!) But having acclimated ourselves all week, Ella and I had a great time. The place was shady and there was a breeze too. I bet it was a crisp 87 degrees, nothing like the high of 93 the weatherpeople reported. It was funny to have the whole place to ourselves, and I think Ella missed being able to beg snacks and toys off of the other kids who are normally there with snacks and toys. But we found a ladybug:

Ella found it, I should say. She actually pointed it out to me. I made her do it again for the picture. : )

Also, we climbed up the taaalllll tower, Ella making a break for it, and me in hot pursuit. (She's not allowed to climb the tall tower, but normally there are big kids helping to block the way.) This face is saying, I'm about to go for it Mama, catch me if you can!

Also, we just ran around.

So, the bottom line from this post is, it's hot, but we have made it past surviving all the way to thriving!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Big day

It was an exciting day at the McCall house. We had our first two showings, after not having anyone come to look for a whole week! I thought the house was looking very pretty . . . let's hope our potential buyers did too. I can see how the frantic cleaning and then driving around could get old if you had to do it a whole lot. But Ella and I did have a pretty good time lighting up the town this afternoon.

First, we went to visit Paul at work which was a lot of fun. It was a beautiful day and where he works is a really fun place for a kid to adventure, complete with huge grassy lawns, little rivers and waterfalls, sculptures of alligators and dinosaurs, and lots of bridges and walkways. Ella was delighted to see Daddy of course. She also loved climbing around. I wish I had brought my camera!

Later in the afternoon for round two of showings we went for frozen yogurt and then to the playground. The only problem was that the entire rest of our town also thought getting frozen yogurt on a beautiful friday afternoon was a good idea. There are 2 competing yogurt places in our town, or at least in our family. They are both good, but Tutti Fruity (where we went today) is much cheaper, slightly less good and always INSANELY crowded. Local Yogurt costs mo' money, but is yogurt heaven and usually not as crowded. Score one in my mind for LoYo today. But still, the whole town was right, yummy yogurt was the perfect thing for this afternoon. Ella cried when it was all gone.

We went to the park after that and Ella loved it. We have just found this park near our house that has toddler sized play stuff. There is no 25 foot tower for her to scale, and the slides are fun, not frightening. This makes Mama and Ella happy. Also, we ran into our friends from church for the second of 2 times at this location. Super!

If all that wasn't enough excitement, we have been practicing using utensils today! This morning Ella spooned her own yogurt at breakfast. (It worked out ok because all she had to do was dip her spoon in and yogurt would stick to it, which she could then lick off.) It was so cool to watch the intensity of her effort and to see her satisfaction at being able to do it herself. So this evening I let her try her chicken nuggets with a fork. Yes it was a grownup fork and I guess this could be considered dangerous, but her tiny plastic fork would never have worked and she did a great job with the real thing! She ate all of her pieces with the fork, sometimes cutely picking up the piece to help put it on, then pulling it off and putting in in her mouth with her hand. I gave her raisins for dessert and she was so into her fork that she asked for it again. And sure enough, she ate all her raisins with a fork too. Or at least holding a fork.

I'm dizzy from all the action today!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baby birdie

This spring, a mama robin very kindly decided to build her nest in a bush just directly outside our kitchen window. It's in a perfect viewing spot! So we have been in on the nest-building, egg warming, and baby-feeding. And now the little birdies have flown the coop. This guy was hopping around on the deck this afternoon. Excuse the hazy photos, this was taken through the window and the screen. I didn't want to scare him away!

He did show off some rudimentary flying skills too. I only saw him flying downward, but then he reappeared so he must know how to go up too. The cutest thing was that his mama came over beside him and gave him some food while he was hanging out on the rail. I tried desperately to get a shot of that, but she is totally onto us inside observers and always flies away whenever we get near the window. (This did make baby viewing easier when they were in the nest though!)

There's something about babies, the more awkward they look, it just gets cuter, don't you think? I love this guy's little grey feathers poking out from his head and his tummy. All together now . . . AAaaawwwWWWWWW!

Sunday, May 15, 2011


You can't argue with these moves.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

For sale

Look at that! We are officially on the market. It feels so good to be done with the neverending list of fixy things we had to work on over the last month or so. If you have never had to do it, let me tell you it is a pain to get your house ready to sell. And we haven't even gotten into the living in a showhome phase where you have to keep everything neat all the time in case someone wants to come take a look. (Please someone come take a look!) But this was one of the first milestones with the whole moving downtown thing. A big checkmark. Ok a little checkmark. But still: house on the market-check! (The big ones will be closing on the new house, selling this house, and finishing renovations. That's all.)

Wish us luck! And if you are thinking of moving to Durham, keep our sweet little yellow house in mind!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Black beans and spoons

A spoon is cool and everything, but really, black beans are best enjoyed when just grabbed by the fistful and jammed into the mouth. But still, a spoon is really cool.

Can you see how gloriously covered in black beans she is? This is the messiest Ella's been in a while at a meal. Thank goodness (and Vovo) for that awesome bib. Sometimes it's just fun to play with your food.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Boxing lessons

We've had some boxes around lately. And Ella has learned an important childhood lesson. Boxes are a great place to hide out, or just hang out and read a book.

Some corollary lessons to the above are, 1. if you try to climb on top of a box, it squashes and turns into a ramp you can slide on 2. if you lean on the walls of a box too hard while inside, you will wind up sideways.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Frappucino happy hour!

Here's a fun tip, and an open invitation to anyone who wants to join me for an afternoon treat next week. I'm going to try not to miss a day this year!


It is so cool to watch Ella starting to get it in lots of different areas. She's becoming quite the little copycat as she learns to do things, but she always adds her distinct Ella-style in her interpretation. Here's her take on accessorizing.

For a little walk with the stroller, should she take the big black bag or the small leather one?

Or why not both?

But the little leather bag is definitely the most fitting for equestrian pursuits don't you think?

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Ooh-hoo-hoo I wanna be like you-hoo-hoo

Hey, it's Daddy's shoe . . .

I know what to do with that!

Oh look, Mommy has got her camera . . . I'd better get mine too!