Friday, March 30, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012


Well, the excitement has finally died down a bit, as much as it ever does with our crew. But we are still having lots of fun with our normal activities. I will say that coming down off of the birthday mountain was pretty hard on all of us. It involved several days where frequently 2 or more of us were crying. But finally we started to get back into the swing of things, and went to the museum.

Ella was sooo excited to go to the butterfly house. But when we got inside, she kept wailing "No fa-fa-fy get you!" (Translation: don't let the butterflies get me!) and trying to hide in my shoulder. So we left. But when this picture was taken, everyone was excited about the butterflies.

I was silly and thought I would set up the stroller with only Nora's seat because Ella has been loving to run lately. Well, she got tired. So we had to keep alternating one baby riding in the seat (yes, Ella squeezed herself in the baby seat) and one in my arms for the whole last part of the visit. Come to think of it, we were still in our post birthday funk that afternoon, or maybe it was a separate tired of walking funk. Anyway, it was funky.

However, now we are out of all that, and having good times just playing at home. Today Ella decided a crowd of her stuffed animals should sit with me, surrounding me, on top of me, on the couch. Then she climbed up beside me and wanted me to put them all on her. What fun!

Meanwhile on the floor, Nora continued mobility practice. She is so funny with her attempts. She does not like to be tummy down. She loves to sit. And she is extremely adept at streeetttttcccchhhhiiing to reach whatever she wants. She even perches up on one foot and one knee to help balance herself. I think she may be trying to avoid having to crawl altogether. I think she dislikes it so much because when she tries, she winds up pushing herself backwards and farther and farther away from wherever she wants to go. It must be so frustrating. Poor thing.

Here she is demonstrating her reach for the camera.

Anyway, here are some little pieces of our days. Hope yours are going well too!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Essential potassium

Ella has been wanting to do a lot of reading together lately. It is really fun and sweet, and I enjoy her books a lot too. There is a real and simple pleasure in thinking about animals, going to bed, modes of transportation, and other themes common in little kids' books. But today, we must have exhausted the normal favorites because Ella brought me a cookbook for dog treats to read. Imagine an expectant toddler looking up at you, use your best story-telling voice, and just try reading this aloud:

The banana in these cookies provides essential potassium and the touch of honey is an extra-special treat for the sweet-tooth hound in all of them.

Did you really read it out loud? It just sounds so ridiculous. Maybe it was the moment, but I could not even get through this sentence without collapsing in giggles at the silliness of it. Ella was confused, but amused, like she wanted to hear it again to understand the joke.

If you ever need a quick dose of absurdity to liven up your day, I recommend reading a cookbook aloud. All the better if it is one for animal treats. : )

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The fun continues . . .

So, as predicted, Ella really got into the birthday festivities, especially when they continued for a few days. Every morning she would want to sing "happy birdie" when she woke up, which was completely understandable! The day after her birthday, added to the excitement of Gramma being here--Gramma's bag finally arrived, and with it, a lot more presents!

Homemade tap shoes from Aunt Megan! Super!

Fun new books from Gramma and Granddaddy!

An awesome cat piano from Uncle Mike, Aunt Nicola, and Cousin Isobel which immediately produced some funky dancing.

Some food for the kitchen that you can really slice, and a sweet little chef's outfit from Uncle Joe!

Turns out the knife from that set is also good for opening presents.

The presents were great!

And then the next day we had a little birthday party! It featured bagels and boogie-ing, which you all know Ella loves.

After it was all over, we just enjoyed our party decorations, presents and music a little longer.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ella is 2!!

What a day we had today! It was filled with family and friends, fun, delicious food, new toys, lots of warm sunshine, gajillions of renditions of happy birthday songs in various versions, and lots of general birthday cheer (and the obligatory few excitement and sugar induced meltdowns). We started off with the big reveal of the play kitchen, which turned out to be completely eclipsed by the happy birthday banner at first. But the appreciation of the kitchen definitely increased with time. And wow those pretend cupcakes are a hit. Not however, as much of a hit as the real chocolate cupcake. More about that later.

We spent the morning playing at the park with friends, then walked to the Mexican restaurant to have lunch with Daddy. After that, it was naptime. And when naptime was over it was time to pick Gramma up from the airport. Her plane was just a smidge late, so we got to watch the planes take off for a few minutes. Ella loooved it. We will be back there. Gramma was greeted with lots of smiles and hugs and silliness. Then we went to the grocery store where the girls got to ride in a car cart. Then Ella got to choose her own cupcake from our favorite Mad Hatter Bakery for her birthday cake. "Chockitt!" was the obvious and emphatic choice. And we heard about nothing but chockitt cupcake from the time it was paid for until the time it was consumed. (We did sneak a little ravioli in in that time period : ) ) Ella loved the cupcake, and Nora thought it looked pretty darn good too.

Happy birthday beautiful Ella! We are so blessed to watch you grow!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

3.1415926535897932384626433832795028841971693 . . .

It's Pi day again! This is the day (3-14) where math lovers and pie enthusiasts join forces to celebrate. I belong in the latter category, let me make that clear. But beyond being a holiday where you eat pie (what could be better?) this day will always be special to me because on it, 2 years ago, I went into labor with my first baby darling. That day was definitely crazy, full of anticipation, and intense. Last year, Pi day found us getting ready with anticipation and mild craziness as we set up presents and tried to believe our tiny baby was going to be a big one year old. This year we are up to to similar tricks. Paul is building a play kitchen (in between stretches of fixing the server at work. Thanks for your contribution, server. : P ). 

The happy birthday banner is hung. 

And I have just got done wrapping a few things. It's like a mini-Christmas eve. : ) Except the children are not nestled all snug in their beds. Say hi, Nora!

We tried to pump Ella up for the big day as she was going to bed tonight. I told her, "Tomorrow we are going to play with friends and eat cake and see Gramma and open presents!" This was greeted with acceptance. "It's going to be your birthday!" Paul added. "Nooooo, noooooo." moaned Ella. I sort of identify with that. But I think she'll get more into it tomorrow. : ) 

What big sisters are for

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Presence through presents

We live very far away from our families and that is the pits. But one fun thing that helps us stay close is the little package Gramma sends to Ella and Nora for their month birthdays each month. It is so exciting to get those little packages in the mail!

She always sends a nice letter.

And this month, we got some cool little yarn dolls!

 Thanks Gramma! We love getting these little presents!