Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Daddy's Girl

With daddy

Look at this adorable little duo!

Pretty in Purple

We had really cool weather today so I got to dress Ella in her first fall outfit. She looked incredibly cute (as usual!).

So cute!

Here she is standing up holding on to the couch
Standing up

Having a good time
Having fun

Monday, September 22, 2008

Wagon Wheels

Ella has a new favorite food - wagon wheels. The only finger food she's had before was her puffs which she loves but she eats them really quickly and we only trust her to eat one at a time, so that involves passing them to her, one at a time. I thought she was ready for the next step, so this weekend at the store I got these wagon wheels which are a lot bigger and she can kind of chew on it until it starts to dissolve and fall apart and then she swallows it. They are carrot flavored but pretty much just a big piece of cereal with some carrot powder on them, so definitely not winning any taste-test awards (at least for adults!) Also they probably feel good on her gums (still no teeth but you can definitely see some white and looks like they've got to be appearing any day now).

I am so surprised how much she likes them, and how long they keep her occupied for. Tonight we had a first - eating dinner with Ella sitting in her high chair at the table with us. Usually we eat after she goes to bed, or if she is still awake she sits on our lap. But we put her in her high chair and she happily ate 2 wagon wheels while we ate dinner. Sounds like a small thing but it feels like a milestone - such a big girl!!

Eating a wagon wheel

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Little Helper

Here is Ella helping me fold her laundry today :). She likes to pick up pieces of her clothes and crazily flail them around, and then roll all around the piles of clothes. She is way too mobile now to leave on the bed and stay in one place, and it is so funny to just watch her roll and twist all around.

fun in the laundry

little helper

She was having so much fun, and here she is playing peekabo
laundry fun

Back to the Beach!

Last weekend we went to the beach again, this time to North Myrtle Beach to a condo that Mom & Glenn rented, and Erin & Josh came too. The condo was right on the beach, we had perfect weather every day and the ocean water was so warm. We went on Friday night and took off on Monday and came back home Monday night.

Here she Ella in the tent on the beach, reaching for her bucket

With Gramps, getting ready to go swimming in the pool
with gramps

Lots of pool pictures



Look at this beautiful face!!!


It was such a great weekend and a really perfect end to the summer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Waving bye-bye

One of Ella's newest talents is waving bye-bye! We had been teaching it for a few weeks but really had no idea it was sinking it at all but one day last week when Steve picked her up from daycare and was carrying her out and said "say bye-bye", she actually waved! When I got home we did it and she did it again - it's so cool, she just kind of flaps her arm up and down and gets very happy and proud of herself. Since then she's been doing it more often, it is just the sweetest little wave ever!

Ella is 8 Months Old

Ella turned 8 months last Friday, September 5. I truly can not believe how fast this 8 months has gone, without question it's been the fastest 8 months of my life. Ella is just the most perfect little pumpkin, and here is what's going on with her!

Ella still has big blue eyes, so it seems like they'll be staying blue, as they've gotten bluer since she was a newborn (they used to more of a gray-blue). She has so much more hair now, especially on top, and even though I brush it every morning it usually is sticking up in all directions which is just so precious. Her cheeks are perfectly round and spongy and just calling out for constant kisses, and she is almost always smiling.


Still no teeth, although I've been expecting them to pop through any day now for the last 2 months, so who knows. For now I just enjoy that giant gummy smile.


Ella is close to crawling but not quite there - she sits up all the time very steady and can get from a sit to her tummy, but isn't sure what to do after that. She will put one arm out in front of the other, and then the other, but then stop, and doesn't get her legs up underneath her. She can stand pretty well with my help, and I think if she were motivated to get moving she could pull up pretty easily and we'd have our hands full. Her main mode of transportation is rolling and she will roll a few times to get where she wants to go. She has had times though of getting frustrated b/c something was just out of reach (because we put it there) and not being able to get to it.

She LOVES her toys. Of course most of them quickly make it to her mouth but Ella loves the option of having several in front of her and choosing which ones she wants to pick up and play with.

Look at this mischevious little grin
8 months old!

Ella is so happy and laughs a lot, especially when we're tickling her (she is VERY ticklish), or thinks our pets are particularly funny - which happens a lot. Just seeing Nomar usually makes her giggle and more and more she'll just laugh looking at Steve or I and the faces or gestures we make at her. Her giggle is incredibly sweet and very contagious.

To our delight, Ella is now saying "da-da" and even says something that sounds awfully close to "hi, da-da" which is just so precious. She'll sometimes say it quietly and almost to herself, but then she'll get loud and happy and just keep saying it. She says a lot of other syllables too, but "dada" is definitely her first word.

She's developed a little bit of separation anxiety over the last few weeks and it's gotten harder to drop her off in the morning because now she knows I am leaving and usually starts to cry. I know she is fine in just a minute (I watch her through the glass) but it is still really sad to walk out of the room with her crying. Luckily the teachers are very helpful and I usually hand her off to one of them and then she is happy. When Steve picks her up in the afternoon, if he doesn't go right to her and starts to pack up her stuff first instead, she will either get upset and cry, or give the ANGRY ELLA face and hand gestures to convey her unhappiness with the situation (see a few posts below if you missed the full description of ANGRY ELLA:

As far as food goes, Ella eats 2 meals a day and has now had rice, oatmeal and whole wheat cereal, and carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, peas, spinach, pears, prunes, blueberries, bananas, applesauce, and lots of combinations of all of the above. Her favorites are the orange veggies, especially carrots and squash. She does eat the green veggies now but not very happily. We also started giving her puffs a few weeks ago, and she feeds them to herself. They are really airy and easy to pick up, and dissolve in her mouth - that's not to say I didn't almost have a panic attack watching her try to eat them the first week or so. She also gets 3 bottles a day at daycare and I nurse her twice a day - I don't think I'll be nursing much longer and I think it's going to be a very easy transition for her because lately she seems to be happier with a bottle than nursing. Less effort and instant gratification!

Getting up 2 and 3 times a night seems like a distant memory since Ella usually sleeps between 11 and 12 hours a night, and bedtime is now easy and peaceful with not even a peep of crying most nights. On nights when she does cry it is for about 5 or 10 seconds. We give her a bath every night and then read books or sing and snuggle in the rocker with her. She'll curl up on my chest and fall fast asleep, it is the most wonderful feeling. Usually I end up holding her a while after she's asleep but I just want to keep looking at her and kissing her instead of putting her in her crib.

Here are a few other 8-month pics


What a wonderful daughter we've been blessed with!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Professional Pics

For Ella's six month pictures I decided to find a new photographer and went with a recommendation of a friend from work, and as it happened I used to work with her husband at Orion awhile ago. Her name is Tina Loebach and she owns Loebach Studios in Raleigh.

Tina met us at the Raleigh gardens downtown on a Sunday morning in July, and did a wonderful job photographing Ella. I ordered a bunch of pictures and they arrived quickly and look beautiful. She was fantastic!

And, she was gracious enough to send me a few jpgs so I could share the pics on my blog! I loooo-ooooove them :0).





If you're looking for a great photographer in Raleigh I highly recommend Tina, check out her website at I will definitely be using her plenty in the future!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

This past weekend was my first weekend home after several weekends away in a row, so it was nice to relax and get a few things done around the house. We took Ella swimming on Saturday (although I think we enjoyed it more than she did) and then went to Dad & Donna's on Sunday for a bbq.

Here is Ella with Grandad
with Grandad

Center of attention, as always =0)
Having fun

Here she is playing at home over the weekend
Reaching for her starfish

So pretty
Smiley girl

Hi mommy

Ready for a walk in the neighborhood
Ready for a walk

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ella's First Trip to the Beach

Ella is definitely a beach baby! I was so excited to take her, and it was actually the last week at Mom & Glenn's house on the beach because they had sold it and the closing was the week after we were there. We've had such wonderful memories there over the last 8 years so I am really glad we got to take Ella there at least once.

Before Ella, trips to the beach consisted of relaxing, laying in the sun, going swimming once we get too hot, reading books all day, having a few drinks, and just general laziness and relaxation...oh how different it is with a baby!

Heading down to the beach, post-Ella: Once the timing is right (read: after first nap, one feeding, one bottle, and a meal of cereal & veggies), we are ready to start getting ready - and of course there is no easy preparation, instead it involves about 20 minutes of preparation getting Ella all ready to go, slathering on many layers of sunscreen, and packing everything we may (or may not!) need.

Then, once we finally get on the beach, my mental clock starts ticking about how long I really want her to be exposed to the sun and the countdown begins before for her next nap! However, it is completely worth it to have her there and get to share the beach with her. Aside from the fact that she is absurdly cute in a bathing suit, she was such a perfect little beachcomber and had a great time.

Here is Ella's first look at the ocean

Checking out the waves

Can you even believe this beautiful girl???


At the pool

So sweet

Funny face for the camera

With Grammy

Nap time

My friend Rachel (from first grade!) came to visit us on Wednesday and got to meet Ella and we spent the day together - it was so great to see her and such a wonderful visit.


It was just Mom, Ella & I the first half of the week and then Steve & Glenn came up on Wednesday night.

With daddy in the shade

Daddy & Gramps

Playing in the sand


Fast asleep

Me & my baby

The 3 of us

Cutest napper ever - check out that tummy!!

And - a new side of Ella emerged - ANGRY ELLA - she will have a little flash where she gets frustrated about something and her face gets completely upset, she puts her fists into little balls and puts her hands stiffly at her sides, and makes the crankiest face! It's so funny b/c it only lasts for a second and then disappears - she doesn't cry or anything, just makes her angry Ella face and then moves on...too cute.

Here it is caught on camera

Mom watched Ella several times once Steve got there so we were able to go out a bit and Glenn took us jet-skiing one day which was so much fun. Stomach virus excluded, it was a completely wonderful trip, and definitely a great first vacation for our precious Ella!!