Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Bunny

World's cutest Easter bunny!!!

Happy Easter



Little Thumbelina Princess

After the last pics that I posted of Ella all snuggled up in bed on the pillow, Erin said she looked like a "little Thumbelina princess." I LOOOOOVED that description and she really is a tiny little Thumbelina! Here are some new pics all curled up in bed.




Ella at 11 Weeks

Ella turned 11 weeks on Saturday. She is cooing a lot more now, and will hold our eye contact and 'talk' to us and smile and go back and forth talking - it is sooo cute! She's also learning to turn her head to look at things and she'll swivel her neck back and forth to look at different things. One funny thing is that when I'm feeding her, she'll swivel her head to look at the fan, then eat for 1 or 2 seconds, then snap her neck back over to look at the fan and make sure it's still there - and repeat about 25 times! She is completely captivated by ceiling fans.

My mom was here through the week and gave me a chance to get a lot done, and really helped us with the transition into the crib. Steve's dad and Carole came to visit for the weekend and we had a great visit with them.

Some pics from the week:

Showing off her big belly

Unhappy girl (but still so darn cute!!!)

Shock of the week - MOM got a tattoo!!! This is what happens when Mom and Erin are alone in NYC - hahaha. Check it out, sweet little Ella has her own petal :0)

Grammy and Ella

Look at those big eyes!

Grampy and Ella

Snuggling with Cory - believe it or not, these were NOT posed


With Daddy

In Raleigh for lunch


Very tired after our big adventure

Grampy and Grandma C


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tales from the Crib

As everyone who I talk to on a regular basis knows, something that I've been really nervous about is moving Ella out of her swing to sleep and into the big-girl CRIB! We made the move into the nursery so she's in her own room, but has still been sleeping in the swing. It's hard to want to move her out of it, because she sleeps amazingly well in it. She started sleeping through the night right around 7 weeks (although not every night)and has had many nights of sleeping 8-10 hours straight overnight. The times I've tried to put her down in her crib for naps, her longest record has been no more than 2 hours (and usually closer to 1). Obviously though this is not the long-term solution. At daycare she'll need to sleep in a crib so there's no getting around it, we've just got to take the plunge and do it.

When we went to the pediatrician for Ella's 2 week appointment and we discussed her sleeping arrangements, he said "well, it's fine that she sleeps in the crib, but you know, she WILL outgrow it and sooner or later you're going to have to pay the piper" (words that have haunted us ever since.) When we took her to her 2-month appointment last week, he asked the dreaded question again: "does she sleep on her back in the crib?"...hmmm, "we-eeelllll, she's actually still sleeping in the swing," I truthfully replied. At which point he actually started laughing. He (obviously) said it'll be easier now than later and we should just get it over with.

The day after her rough night following her vaccinations, I was really scared to try it thinking she was too out of sorts to be able to adjust; but Mom was here, willing to stay overnight and "pay the piper." So, no more excuses, I decided to just commit to it, no turning back, and move the little babydoll into her crib!

So, night 1 was Tuesday night. I put her down around 10:15 and Mom got up with her overnight - she woke up briefly at 2 am, 4 am, ate at 5 am, then woke up for the morning around 7 am. Definitely not her best night, 3 wake-ups.

Night 2, Wednesday night: I put her down at 8:30 pm, she slept until 1:30 am; I fed her and put her back down by 2am and she slept through until 7 am. Only 1 wake up!

Night 3, Thursday night: She slept from 10:15 pm until 6:30 am - what a little champ!!

Night 4, Friday night: Regression...after unsucessfully trying to put her down from 8:30 to 11:30, I caved and let her sleep in bed with us. After feeding her at 2:30 I moved her into her crib and she slept until 7 am.

Night 5, Saturday night: Success!! She slept from 8:15 am to 5:45 am - over 9 hours!

I am not naive enough to think that it's all going to be smooth sailing from here, but it has been so much better than I thought and she's doing so well in her crib. Unfortunately she's getting too strong for her swaddle blanket, so the next step is going to be getting her to sleep un-swaddled.

For now though I'm just happy this has been easier than anticipated!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

2 Month Doctors Appointment

Ella had her 2-month doctors appointment on Monday, and she got her first round of vaccines (aside from the 1 she got in the hospital). She was so cheerful and happy throughout the appointment, really in a great mood. When the doctor was listening to her heart and lungs she was cooing at him and put her hand on top of his, and was just so cheerful.

She weighs 10 lbs 11 oz, and is in the 50th percentile for weight, and is 22 inches long, putting her in the 25th percentile for height. And her big noggin is also in the 50th percentile - so we have a short chunky little monkey on our hands!!

When it was time for her to get her shots, she had to get 3 of them in her sweet little thighs, 2 on one side and 1 on the other. After the nurse stuck the first one in her thigh she went completely silent and her mouth opened so wide but no sound came out. Then she turned bright purple and started screaming. It was so sad. She cried for a few minutes and I saw her first tear roll down her cheek - one sad little tear on her right cheek :(.

That night she seemed pretty content for about 3 hours or so but woke up from her nap around 7:30 pm and was just miserable. She screamed for almost a solid hour. It was heartbreaking to listen to, even nursing wouldn't comfort her, that's how upset she was and must have just felt so bad. Fortunately my mom was here and really helped us to stay calm and got her to fall asleep and just generally made us feel that it was 'normal' instead of that something was really wrong with her. We've never heard her cry like that before and I hope it's a long time before we hear it again. The next morning she was back to her old self though so luckily her reaction was short-lived. It was really hard though, it gave me my first taste of what it feels like when your baby is in pain or something is wrong. Poor little girl.

Here is a pic of her on our way there (so sweetly oblivious to what was coming)
2 month drs appt - 3.17.08

After the appointment, with bandaids on her thighs and infant tylenol dripping down her chin - poor little babydoll :(
poor girl :( - 3.17.08

Ella at 10 Weeks

Ella's 10th week was very busy! We had great weather so I took her out several days to run errands. We visited her daycare center one day to get a little more familiar with it and introduce her to the teachers and other babies...she actually slept in my arms the entire time so I'm not sure how much she remembers but it was good for me at least.

I am really, really, really dreading dropping her off at daycare but the center really seems great and I am very happy that I'll be able to keep an eye on her all day through the cameras in the room. I spoke with another mother who has 2 babies there (one that is 2 yrs old and one that is 11 weeks old) and she made me feel much more reassured and says she would not have her children anywhere else, so that did make me feel better.

Here are some pics from Ella's 10th week

These are my new favorite pics of the little angel
squishy face

Sleeping angel

Sleeping at dinner time
precious belly

Playing in her gym
So sweet

Tummy time
Tummy time

With Grammy
Little babydoll



Catching Up...

The past two weeks have been really busy so I have a lot to catch up on!

Ella's personality is really emerging more and more each day. She makes sustained eye contact for several minutes at a time and smiles and coos and really engages us. Whenever I change her on the changing table, she gets really excited and happily flaps around her arms and legs. She can use her hands to grab a little bit and seems to be figuring out that her hands are actually hers and that she has control of them. She can put a little bit of weight on her legs and when I hold her upright she'll kick her legs and put some weight on them.

Her most cheerful time is still morning, but she is happy and alert throughout most of the day now and only gets slightly cranky late in the day. Whenever she wakes up in the morning or from a nap, she is so sweet and happy. Her face breaks into a big grin and she stretches out for several minutes and makes all kinds of facial expressions. It is soooo precious.

Her favorite 'toys' right now are ceiling fans. No matter what room we are in, the fan will catch her eye and she will just fixate on it. Once I turn it on, she'll start grinning and really seems to enjoy it.

Dad & Donna came up a few times during Ella's 9th week so that I could get a lot of work done, and Erin & Josh came over the weekend to spend time with us and the little nugget.

Here are pictures of Ella at 9 weeks

Happy girl in her bouncer
Happy girl

Erin giving Ella a bottle
Bottle with Erin

Gorgeous girl fast asleep
Sweet pea

With Dad and Donna after their race
With dad - 3.8.08

With Donna - 3.8.08

"Talking" to Aunt Erin
Talking to Aunt Erin - 3.8.08

Funny face - yikes!!
Funny face

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ella is 2 Months - March 5

Today is Ella's 2 month birthday!

To celebrate I dressed her up in her first dress and took a ton of pictures. This is the dress Erin gave her for Valentine's Day and I have been saving it for today. She is just absurdly cute in it, it is definitely my favorite outfit of hers so far. When I took her for a walk this afternoon I left the dress on and put pants underneath it and a jacket over just so I wouldn't change her out of it. Too-ooo cute.

on blanket - 3.5.08

sweet baby

close up

soooo cute

little darling - 3.5.08

Little Traveler

This weekend we went out both days and took Ella with us, she was such a little champ and we had gorgeous weather. We went shopping and to lunch on Saturday and to the grocery store on Sunday. Steve got the Baby Bjorn hooked up so we carried her in there and she really seemed to like it.

Her face looked so tiny and adorable the way it was just peeking out when he was carrying her; and when I carried her I couldn't stop kissing the top of her head. And it's so nice that you still have both hands free and she is very secure in there. The car seat carrier is pretty difficult to walk around with because it is heavy and a weird length so it's always bumping you in the legs if you try to walk any distance with it.

It is really good for restaurants though so she can hang out in there and is easy to get in and out. When we went to lunch on Saturday the hostess gave us a kids menu and crayons for her (???) which really gave us a laugh. It worked out great because it was time for her to eat since we'd been out a few hours and I was able to give her a bottle while we waited for our meal and then she pretty much just dozed and looked around while we ate.

Here she is on Saturday
First shopping trip 3.1.08

And here she is on Sunday after we came home from our errands
Sunday Smile - 3.2.08
Guess she was happy to be home!

Oh and I met the first person to get her gender wrong! I was carrying her in the baby bjorn at the drug store and a woman came over and said "oooo-ooooh can I look?" so I said okay and she looked at her and said "boy?"...hmpf. I was like "NO, she is a stunning little princess, can't you tell"...okay, okay, I was LIKE. Really I just said "nope, girl" (ha!). I did have her dressed in green, but still, I think she clearly looks like a girl!

The lady ended up being really sweet though and told me she had a brand new grandson that turned 3 weeks old today and she was flying out the next day to Italy to meet him, because her daughter's husband was in the military. She said her daughter was 30 and so she had forgotten what it was like to be around a tiny baby but couldn't wait to meet her grandson. She was so excited and was buying things for her trip.

It really hit home for me and made me grateful once again that Steve is out of the Army for good, how glad I am that we waited to start a family until he was out, and how fortunate we are to have family close to be so involved in Ella's life.I felt sad for that lady's daughter because I can not imagine having gone through the first several weeks without mom here to help take care of both us and our new little angel. We are truly blessed!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Chunky Little Monkey

Since I'm with Ella all the time sometimes it's hard for me to see her changing but lately I can really notice how much chubbier she is getting. It is seriously the most precious thing ever. Her cheeks are so chubby and so is her belly. She has this way of sitting where she will pretty much just rest her cheeks and chin(s) on top of her giant belly and looks like a little old man!
Chunky Monkey - 3.1.08
I got on the scale with her this morning and it looks like she weighs about 11.5 lbs - I'm looking forward to getting her official weight when we go to the doctor next week (although I am really dreading her getting shots :( )

Here is a side profile to give you an even better look at those sweet cheeks

Sweet Cheeks - 3.1.08

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Little Angel

Some closeup sleeping pics of the little cherub, could she be any cuter???


So precious

Sweetest face

Three Amigos

Three amigos